Brazil Trip

Brazil Trip

Brazilia sign picture

We just came home from a wonderful trip to Brazil. Specifically, we stayed in Brasilia, where Pedro was born and raised. We got to spend some quality time with his family, which was really special, as SOMEONE turned 50 on this trip. (It wasn’t me).

Brasilia is the capital of Brazil, and is fascinating to visit. In case you don’t know, the whole city was built in the midst of a jungle. They literally cleared out a jungle and built an entire city. The structures are magnificent, and each government building is unique to itself.

I noticed that as a whole, people that live in Brasilia are a lot more fit and athletic than I notice in the USA. When we went to a park, there were several groups of kids and adults playing American soccer. It was nice to see them enjoying the beautiful day and getting some exercise in as well. Everyone involved was wearing a huge smile, which made us smile as well.

We also noticed that throughout the park, there were fitness stations. These were fixed stations, so the parts were not adjustable. Your body weight and your own momentum was what moved the machines. Behind these fitness stations were play areas for the children. I am not talking about a slide and a swing set. I am talking about structures for the kids to climb up, climb on, climb down, climb around, and explore. Of course, I had to play myself. What can I say? The inner child is still very much a part of me. What a wonderful, creative way for kids to get exercise!

The public tennis courts were also being used, and there were plenty of people walking, jogging, skating or cycling around the over 5000 meter perimeter of the park. We probably walked 6 miles or so, and to be in that atmosphere, with clean air and smiling active people was an absolute pleasure.

Here’s my bottom line: We have parks in South Florida. We even have these fitness stations in some of them. The difference to me was that in Brazil, people were actually USING the parks and fitness stations. Unfortunately, most of the parks I have seen here are virtually empty. When I see children playing in them, I witness the adults short of patience waiting on the benches. Rather than play with the children, they are busy watching the time.

I am not implying that every park in America is underutilized. I am also not implying that all parents are lazy and uninspired, thus producing lazy uninspired children. What I AM saying is that we could take some inspiration from cultures and societies that are more fit and active. It was shocking to see that in Brasilia, the kids were playing with something other than their video games and computers. In fact, on the playing fields, I did not see one electronic device.

Could I live in Brasilia? Probably not. There are aspects of the city that I would have a very hard time adjusting to. However, that being said, there is a lot to admire about the city, the people, and the culture in general. I am looking forward to our next visit to reunite with family and friends once again.

In Health and Fitness,

Shereen Rios BAS, CPT for Focus and Form Fitness

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