The Rio Olympics has been a great opportunity for foreigners from all over the world to be exposed to cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) and it’s culture for the first time. Many of the gringos who came to Rio de Janeiro full of fears over crime, pollution, and massive traffic jams had their hearts and minds softened after they encountered the carioca spirit.
Many foreigners and also people from another states in Brazil are enchanted by the apparent health of the cariocas. So, here are 7 reasons cariocas—despite the myriad of challenges they face every day—are generally, healthy people.
1) Carioca attitude
Maybe the attitude is the most important characteristic of a carioca. Having one of the most fantastic settings and mostly great weather doesn’t hurt, but cariocas tend to be optimistic people. They don’t get so hung up on schedules or social invitations, especially compared with Germanic cultures. The smart gringo learns that when they receive an invitation to meet a cariocas the next day, that their new friend just might not show up. Not great for conducting business, but good to reduce stress-related illnesses.
2) Juice bars
A common site in Rio de Janeiro that is rare elsewhere in the world is the juice bar, with fresh fruits available year-round. Açaí is just one of the anti-oxidant-rich fruits that many cariocas consume daily. Likely that gives some anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits. More fruits, and less soft drink consumption, is one reason cariocas keep in such good physical condition, with their weight under control.
3) Coconut water
Even though coconut water is commonly available in Brazil; cariocas seem to drink more of it than elsewhere in the country. Coconut water is a much better alternative to high-sugar soft drinks or boxed juices. Coconut water is full of electrolytes, most notably potassium, especially important after sweating or a workout. Many people spend much of their day dehydrated, and they feel better once their tissues are supplied with the proper fluids. One of the best replacements is coconut water, especially fresh, without preservatives, directly from the fruit with a straw.
4) Beach exercise
Cariocas love playing beach volleyball, or just running on the beach. While gym membership is high and another reason cariocas tend to have better bodies, the beach is free anytime. Bikes are cheap to rent, and the city provides over 30 workout stations along the beaches.
5) Strong social networks
As we have reported here before, an important aspect for both physical and mental health is to be part of social networks. Cariocas (like Brazilians in general) are great for this. In other countries where it may be common to go to the beach alone or just with one other person, in Rio de Janeiro the average beach group is said to be around 4 or 5 people.
6) Physical people
Cariocas tend to be very physical. They seem to touch more, hug more, kiss more, and numerous studies have shown that this warmth nourishes our physical health, as well as making us feel more human and connected.
Cariocas love to party, and besides the socializing benefits, listening to music, standing more (rather than sitting)—and especially dancing—are great for your physical health. Medical studies have demonstrated how powerful dancing is to help keep our minds and bodies young!
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)