Whether you’re visiting Panama, relocating to Panama, or retiring in Panama, if you’re into fitness, you’ll want to keep up your routine while here. Panama is known for its laid-back, relaxed lifestyle, beaches, and year-round warm weather, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a place for active people. On the contrary, Panama is great for getting in shape, staying fit, and living a healthy lifestyle, no matter what the pace. Here are five examples of ways to do it.
1. Run, Bike, or Walk the Cinta Costera:
Panama’s Cinta Costera, or Coastal Belt in English, is one of the city’s most attractive outdoor areas, and perfect for getting some exercise outdoors. The Cinta is roughly 7km (5.5 miles) of tree-lined, green parkway that runs along the downtown coastline of Panama City. There are paths exclusive for bikes, as well as runner-friendly material lining the walkways. There’s even an outdoor gym at one end, as well as water and food vendors along the way.
2. Take Advantage of the Water:
As you most certainly already know, Panama is a country with unprecedented access to the beach. What you may not know is that Panama has some of the best pool access in the world as well. This means that if you’re a swimmer, you can get your laps in pretty much 365 days a year. There are beaches with ocean access that allows for swimming during calm tides in both the Pacific and Caribbean as well. Indoor pools are hard to find, but most condo building have their own pool, as well as hotels that offer day passes for swimmers who aren’t guests.
3. Shop at Local Fruit and Vegetable Markets:
Think you can’t eat healthy in Central America? Think again! Panama has an abundency of delicious, healthy food, and the best place to find it is in the country’s hundreds of outdoor (and indoor) fruit and vegetable markets. Prices are incredibly cheap, and the freshness of many of the tropical fruits and veggies is simply unparalleled in the supermarket. Plus, you’ll get to eat like locals do, which is always a plus if you’re new to the country and want to learn more about it.
4. Join a Runners Club:
Despite the heat and traffic, Panama is actually very runner friendly, and clubs are the best way to get a taste of this. There are a number of great organized clubs and events that hold regular races, group running, and closed track running available to members. The city even shuts down sections of Avenida Balboa for races, as well as having well-maintained running paths in many of the city’s parks, specifically Parque Omar. If you’re really feeling like a good run, try the paths up to Ancon Hill, where you will have unprecedented views of Panama City from practically every angle.
5. Take Yoga:
Yoga in Panama is all the rage these days, and for good reason. There are now about a dozen small and large Yoga schools in the country, with hundreds (if not thousands) of private instructors spread throughout. Yoga is practiced in Parque Omar, Parque Urraca, and Parque Centenario weekly, and many neighborhoods have their own specific Yoga studios, as well as gyms that offer services. If you’re feeling really adventurous, take a Yoga retreat on one of Panama’s many beach and mountain areas.