Rio de Janeiro has become an international
pioneer in its commitment to exercise, health and mental well-being.
I LOVE RIO uncovers fitness regimes, recreations,
tips and techniques, from Carioca jogging to indoor and outdoor gyms,
yoga, meditation, and the latest nutritional tips and trends. Spas,
retreats, supplements and personal care are explored, bringing residents
and visitors cutting edge insight into how to nurture and develop both
body and mind.
Health, outdoor living, and socialization
Lifestyle in Rio de Janeiro is as diverse as the
nature that blesses the city and as broad as the culture that enriches
There are over 160 neighborhoods in the city, each
with its own geographical and urban characteristics, shaping the
lifestyle of Cariocas accordingly - while some districts are home to
spectacular beaches, other parts of the city have atlantic rainforest,
landmark architecture, or gorgeous city parks to be proud of.
Mountains, beaches, forests and lakes entwine with diversity and
traditions tracing back to Indigenous peoples and spanning widely to
embrace African and European heritage, allowing Cariocas to enjoy the
city in a thousand ways.
Beyond the world famous image of a laid-back and
relaxed outdoor lifestyle, Carioca living includes a wide range of
other aspects reaching deep in the traditional cultural roots of the
population, and ever expanding and developing with the globalization
of the city and of Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro's wonderful array of natural
landscapes and delightfully warm climate, as well as a profoundly social
nature, entice residents to spend their time outdoors and revel in the
beauty of the city and the pleasant company of others - a statement to
the unique sociability and friendliness of Cariocas.
Common to all activities, is a clear emphasis on
socialization and the true enjoyment of life and appreciation for all
its facets, with a definite propensity for the outdoors.
Further to everything a big city has to offer,
lifestyle in Rio de Janeiro includes enviable mix of outdoor activities,
healthy living, informal and improvised social gatherings, sports
practice, and charming pastimes such as fishing and kite flying.
In appreciation of the population's engagement with
their natural surroundings and penchant for socializing, the government
has supported and enhanced fitness practices across the city through
events, competitions and the creation of recreational spaces and
Several private enterprises also look to cater to the
active and outdoor nature of inhabitants and contribute by offering
classes and activities to improve fitness and enhance skills, keeping
abreast of the latest world trends while giving it a Carioca spin.
Nature directly affects lifestyle in Rio de Janeiro
- An impressive portion of the city's population is passionate about
interacting with their natural surroundings: the unique assortment
of urban beaches, sea-side lagoons, natural parks, gardens, forests,
and rocky mountains.
The warm climate makes sports and fitness
recreations all the more appealing and at every park and beach one
can find armies of Cariocas running, cycling, exercising and playing
Residents and visitors of the city regularly make
excursions up into the hills that enrich the great metropolitan
parks such as the 'parque da tijuca' or the 'parque da pedra
branca', scrambling through woods and up rocks to enjoy sensational
views of the city around and below.
Long bicycle rides are taken around the several
metropolitan lagoons such as the famous 'lagoa rodrigo de freitas'
or along the dozens of beaches, while swimmers, sailors and surfers
populate the two bays and the oceanic waters.
Fisherman line most coastal stretches and football,
volleyball and fitness exercises are conducted on sandy stretches in
the warm outdoors.
Starting at sunrise and continuing well after
sunset, all the main beaches in the city are home to people
exercising or gathering in teams to play and excercise - as much as
the elderly enjoy the early hours of the day, many after-school
organizations teach soccer and volley ball to children of all ages.
Welcoming sports and exercises from many parts of
the world, yoga is nowadays widely considered one of the most
nourishing activities for body and mind and popular classes can be
found at gyms, beaches and parks across Rio - With its combination
of skilled physical manoeuvres and tranquil meditation it is now
practiced even on floating stand-up surf boards surrounded by water.
The deep connection to nature, health, and the
desire to fully enjoy life made it so that many working commuters
get to their office locations in sporting outfits, incorporating a
work-out in their daily routines and making the best out of a
Typically, many workers leave their formal attires
at their place of employment, so that no time is wasted and outdoor
activities can be enjoyed on their way to, and after work.
Warm weather means outdoor social activities -
Cariocas typically gather outdoors, in squares, bars, parks and
beaches, making them uniquely open to new people and places, may
that be for cultural or sporting events, or for the characteristic
week-end barbeque part of most Carioca families.
This affinity with the outdoors has nursed a strong
awareness of the weather – many Cariocas are able to predict with
impressive precision if clouds and rain are approaching.
Lifestyle and cultural practices developed and
merged into each other from both connection with nature and heritage
- the effect can be seen in the most diverse of ways, in activities
ranging from recreational fishing and exercising to music enjoyment
and artistic celebrations.
Heritage has shaped both the history of the city,
and the way its residents enjoy it - music was integrated in many
aspects of city life, becoming part of religious celebrations,
city-sponsored concerts and live performances as much as random
beach days via a boom-box on the sand.
Fresh food is a vital part of local lifestyle - A
charming and longstanding feature of the weekly Carioca routine is
shopping for groceries at a local fair, where customers connect
directly with the produce of their land.
Every neighbourhood has at least one weekly fruit
and vegetable market, where customers amble along aisles selecting
the very finest ingredients at reasonable prices, tasting delicious
samples and chatting cheerfully with other locals and merchants.
Everyday activities and practices have also been
determined and influenced by the characteristic Carioca syncretism -
Some pastimes date back to early indigenous civilizations, while
other activities, habits and foods derive from European settlers and
Fishing communities have existed since before
Portuguese colonization of Brazil, while the important martial art
of 'capoeira' and many spiritual affiliations have their origin in
Similarly, Rio de Janeiro has a great wealth of
traditional national cuisine with roots in a variety of cultural
The government is actively engaged in facilitating
Cariocas' strong relationship with their surroundings, and in
ensuring that cultural heritage is preserved - both educational
campaigns and modern infrastructure are part of the efforts directed
at improving and fostering a healthy lifestyle.
In recent years, public institutions have
implemented a creative variety of programs to increase awareness,
motivation to promote healthy and positive lifestyle choices.
As lifestyle is the result of many concurring
factors, including healthy food consumption, the national government
released a set of dietary guidelines, offering sage advice on what
to eat, the best way to prepare dishes, and how to best enjoy it.
The guidelines advocate the use of natural
ingredients, the avoidance of industrial processing, and the
cultivation of a shared culinary culture, where families buy, cook
and enjoy food together - this innovative approach inextricably
linked lifestyle with diet and healthy living, a cornerstone of
Rio de Janeiro's state government routinely
sponsors advertising campaigns, as well as a variety of free outdoor
gyms and wide-scale competitions and activities across the city,
emphasizing the broad range of gorgeous natural spaces and man-made
structures freely available to all Cariocas.
Impressive city-wide bicycle paths have been built,
as well as new skate parks, to democratize access to public spaces
and promote diverse fitness activities - most beaches is Rio de
Janeiro are equipped with small gyms free to use, while many
districts across town are home to public and modern open-air gyms
for the elderly.
Adding to to the city-sponsored bicycle paths,
private enterprises have made available public bicycles that can be
rented and dropped off very easily across Rio de Janeiro, further
promoting active lifestyle and the democratization of spaces.
A number of independent enterprises offer classes
and group activities, aware of Cariocas' desire to engage with their
surroundings and share their experiences with one another.
Dance, music, cooking, martial art and surfing
lessons act as a way of tapping into a rich and vibrant history and
adding to personal repertoires.
The city's resplendent natural offerings, coupled
with its continual influx of practices from across the world, have
formed a rich tapestry of cultural traditions and identities;
allowing a wide variety of Carioca lifestyles that, while seemingly
different, all celebrate love for life and the importance of others.