Health Tips for Expatriates

by David Tompkins

Health Tips for Expatriates Living Abroad

Relocating abroad certainly opens the doors to a better quality of life, but thanks to the host of priority tasks one has to cross off one’s checklist in doing so, fitness is mostly left on the back burner. Getting used to the new culture, finding a job and sustaining yourself or your family can quite understandably be overwhelming, at least initially. Kick-start your day the perfect way by sticking to an exercise regimen (and we don’t just mean hitting the gym) and start a healthy routine. Incorporating advice from fitness counselors specializing in expat issues, we put together 10 health tips for expatriates to stay fit in a new country and how to keep healthy while traveling?

1. Change your routine

This is undoubtedly one of the major health tips for expats. Your routine is bound to change when you move to a foreign country. It’s time to change from a state of inaction and procrastination to one of immediate and regular physical activity. Getting out of your comfort zone is the key. In challenging yourself to push your limits each day, you will feel better about yourself. This will help you gain more self-confidence and a can-do attitude. You need a healthy body for a healthy mind. Exercise is also vital for sharper memory. And remember, your fitness regimen’s got to be regular. That’s the ONLY way how results will show up in due course of time.

2. Expand your social connections when living abroad

Just in case you thought fitness was only about long walks and workouts, there’s another, seldom-talked-about emotional fitness tool that you need to look into. Learn a new skill or pick a hobby – a sport, language, musical instrument, etc. You will feel a sense of achievement in doing so. The possibility of finding like-minded people in the process and building your social network is such a powerful stimulant and a must to stay emotionally healthy. Browse sites such as and sign up for all kinds of events that you can’t wait to get started on.

3. Get access to open-air gyms

Did you think going to a gym was the only way to stay fit? You couldn’t be farther from the truth. In several countries around the world, local authorities have set up outdoor gyms or workout spots in parks across cities. So, after a stroll in the park, if you’d want to stretch your muscles further, make use of the pull-up bars, parallel bars among other equipment for calisthenics absolutely for FREE whenever you want. Find out where are such workout spots closest to your place.

Global Nomads

4. Practice weeks of restraint for that one cheat-day reward

Not digging into mouth-watering delicacies can be a temptation difficult to resist with restaurants and bars in every nook and corner of your city. Treat your palate to once-a-fortnight or once-a-month visits to eateries provided you have stepped out for intense physical activity every single day and eaten nutritive and low-calorie diet the entire month.

5. Take care of your eating, sleeping patterns

Away from home, you absolutely need to take good care of yourself. What you choose to do during the day impacts you physically as well as emotionally. Get a sound sleep, meditate every morning and have a balanced diet. You may prepare a few healthy meals well in advance so that you don’t have to be in the kitchen every time you feel hungry.

6. Take part in fitness events

Joining communities such as fitness runs or park-runs roughly over 5-to-10 km-long stretches are welcome events held in different cities across the world. Since everyone’s a volunteer at such gatherings, you will feel you belong to the community during the course of the walk itself. It is particularly the first choice for frequent travelers to stay in shape. It’s a good idea to maintain data of the distance covered in record time. And constantly keep attempting to better your own previous performance. By joining communities, you can participate in several fun-learning activities that sharpen your physical and mental reflexes in equal measure.

Expats in Caribbean

7. Nothing beats an early morning walk

Starting the day early by going for a morning walk in fresh air is the simplest step towards staying fit. Be it a long hike or brisk walk, this doesn’t just allow you to plan the day better, but even explore your expat country when there’s so much peace and quiet around.

8. Cycling towards a fitter you

Apart from walking, cycling to work is a much healthier and cost-effective option compared to taking public transport or using your personal fuel-powered vehicle. There are several takers for cycle-renting schemes in cities around the world such as London, Paris, Barcelona, Shanghai, New York City, etc. You can pick and leave a cycle from several bicycle stations whenever you want. Using this expat health and wellbeing tip would mean that you are also contributing in your sweet little way in saving the environment.

9. Seek counseling if you are stressed

Living abroad can be exciting and rewarding, but also stressful. A routine of physical activity can help you fight depression and stress. According to a World Health Organization study, expats are over twice as likely to experience anxiety and depression out of 300 million such cases across the world. It’s time you sought counseling if you are one of them. Counseling helps people learn how to manage their emotions. Talking it out helps release pent-up emotional stress and feel light at heart. There’s an online international therapist directory of qualified and experienced therapists in different countries. Hence, no matter which part of the world you are in, you will always find someone to talk to.

10. Seek medical support

While you are living abroad, it is vital that you seek medical support to develop a prevention program for staying healthly. if you have a chronic condition, make sure your doctor back home and one that you will find in your destination country will have a plan for keeping you healthy. Simple things such as vaccinations go a long way towards staying healthy while living overseas.


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Do expats need health insurance?

No matter where you plan to start your expatriate, purchasing an international health insurance plan can save you from a lot of unexpected expenses and hassles. Being physically and mentally fit by following the expat health tips mentioned above will help you enjoy a convenient and memorable stay in your favorite destination. GoExpat can be your trusted guide to choosing health insurance coverage based on your specific needs.

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