Why staying healthy in Barcelona is much easier than you think

Newcomer May Ponzo has been pleasantly surprised to find that there is a booming fitness and health culture in the Catalan capital, with Pilates studios and vegan options on nearly every corner

If you are moving to Spain and were looking forward to using your new adopted country as an excuse to eat fewer greens and drink more reds, then you might be a little disappointed when you get here.

I can only speak from my own experience, but the more time I spend living in Barcelona and getting used to the local way of life, the more apparent it’s becoming that tortilla and sangría are not the staples.

My friends in London warned me it would be difficult to keep up my healthy lifestyle once I moved to the Catalan capital

I remember my friends in London warning me it would be difficult to keep up my healthy lifestyle once I moved to the Catalan capital. But what they didn’t know is that I was moving to a city with a booming fitness and health culture.

According to a Bloomberg study of 169 countries, Spain is the healthiest nation in the world, and a number of other studies have predicted its residents will enjoy the longest lifespans by the year 2040. These reports tend to give nearly all the merit to the renowned Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, widely touted as being the world’s healthiest. It is believed that its fresh fruit and vegetables, rivers of olive oil and socio-cultural aspects are the reasons behind such longevity.

But what these studies seem to have missed is that many Mediterranean countries have veered away from the traditional diet and lifestyle and have created their new version of a healthy, balanced life. Olive oil is being replaced by coconut oil, a salmon steak by tofu scramble and family meals by on-the-go snacks.

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