When we think of São Paulo, the first thing that comes to mind is the idea of a busy business city. In fact, São Paulo is the most important economic city in Brazil and South America. The metropolis is indeed home for several multinationals headquarters, setting for lots of international trades. What you may not know about São Paulo is that the city has several parks, that offer different choices for outdoor activities. Moreover, what is absolutely amazing is the possibility to exercise outdoors all over the year. With average temperatures between 15 and 21 °C (degrees Celsius), São Paulo offers the perfect weather for outdoor sports. You just have to avoid the midday hours during summertime, when the temperatures can get above 35°C (degrees Celsius). So, choose your favorite spot and enjoy your exercise routine.
Ibirapuera is not only the biggest but also the oldest urban park in Sao Paulo. It is a must-go spot for sportive people and amateur athletes. Its original design has the signature of the famous landscape architect, Burle Marx. The modern buildings, which hold museums and other cultural activities, have the unique style of the world-known architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Despite being there for a while, the innovative sense of those two incredible artists gives the park a feeling of a modern and contemporary complex. Ibirapuera is the perfect place for gatherings and sports activities, besides, of course, the social activities promoted by the municipality. For instance, Sao Paulo Fashion Week, a showcase that puts Brazil in the world fashion scenario, takes place annually right at this spot. What I enjoy the most in Ibirapuera Park is the fact that, for a moment, you can forget that you're in a metropolis and find yourself in the middle of a very green and relaxing atmosphere.
You can relax and enjoy the shade of the numerous trees in the park. Isn’t it the ideal spot for a yoga section? Or simply, to finish the book, you have been reading, in a green surrounding? As much as I appreciate the relaxation and the natural atmosphere, I find myself attracted to the numerous possibilities of tracks and options for running. Long-distance, short and intense courses or natural paths are all there to be discovered. All sorts of diversity add a lot more fun into this practice. Locals have already found these advantages, as you can spot many groups led by personal trainers, performing running practices and other types of exercise. Likewise, you can bump to professional athletes running around. As well as being an excellent place for running, or walking, Ibirapuera also offers a bike path and several sports courts.
A lot smaller, but with no lack of charm, the “Parque do Povo,” means the "people’s park" in Portuguese. It is located in a sophisticated neighborhood in the city, called Itaim Bibi. Elegant buildings surround it and alongside a modern and luxury mall, the Shopping JK. The small size of the park and its impeccable maintenance give a sense of coziness, readily appreciated. It is so beautifully designed that you won’t even notice that the length of the running path is only 1,2 km. You can go around so many times and not get tired of its pleasant atmosphere. Besides the running track, the park offers sports courts that get busy all over the weekend. It is where locals gather to play football, our national passion. The park also has some playing areas for children, which makes it a perfect place for birthday picnics. If you are in a mood of a more conditioning practice, you can benefit from the exercise equipment to improve your performance before or after your course.
If you want to have a taste of a real forest inside the city, then your park is Burle Marx. Designed by the famous architect after whom it was named, the park was built to be incorporated as an extension of a mansion that has never been built. Part of its green area is a preserved portion of the Atlantic Forest, a small sample of the biodiversity and richness of Brazilian fauna and flora. You will find not only typical tropical trees- such as “pau-Brasil” (Brazilian tinder)- but also some little monkeys and birds, that make the park look like an enchanted place in the middle of the crowded city. If you want to enjoy some free outdoor activities, such as yoga, "capoeira," stretching, Kung Fu among others, check the park's agenda before planning your visit.
So pack your shoes and sports clothes. Choose your favorite spot, and enjoy the pleasant weather and the shade of the exotic Atlantic Forest trees of our parks.
Cover Picture © Credits to istock/Willbrasil21
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