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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle When Living Abroad

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Moving overseas brings with it several challenges to maintaining routines in your life - especially when it comes to diet and exercise. However, with a little discipline and a proper health regime, it's possible to stay fit and healthy, even while living in a foreign country.

Healthy Lifestyle When Living Abroad

If you are all set to start your life in a new country, these tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be quite helpful when living abroad.

Maintain a balanced diet

After moving to a foreign country, it may be tempting to try all the local dishes at once, but you need to think about your health before filling up your plate. It may take you some time to settle in and be able to prepare food at home. Until then you need to focus on maintaining a diet plan. For a balanced diet, keep a track of your calorie intake, try to resist those cravings for junk food, and learn some healthy recipes as well.

Although limiting your dining out would be good for your health, you can't simply stop eating at restaurants, especially while adjusting to a foreign cuisine. Instead of refraining from eating out, you can practice portion control to prevent over-eating. The trick is to get your food served on a small plate and have a side salad along with your meal.

Ensure access to clean drinking water

When living abroad, you need to ensure access to clean drinking water. Contaminated water could lead to getting certain water-borne diseases and poses a big health risk. It's a common issue in developing countries that requires awareness on the part of expats. If you are not sure whether the water supply is hygienic, you should boil the water before drinking it. This is necessary since you need to keep yourself hydrated no matter where you are living.

Research international health insurance plan

Expats often have access to international health insurance plans when settling in a foreign country. If you are moving to the caribbean, your Medicare coverage will continue in some islands but for the rest of the places, you may need to invest in international health insurance plan.

Although expats may opt for a private healthcare plan when living in a new country, it can be quite expensive. So, to reduce the burden of your medical bills, it may be better to get an international health insurance plan. It's useful for expatriates working and living abroad as it covers dental and vision care, day-patient care, cancer treatment, and international medical evacuation among others.

Be aware of local diseases and get vaccinated

Being aware of the communicable diseases and other local health risks in your host country is a big step towards leading a healthy life. Keep yourself informed about outbreaks and get the required vaccines and medication to protect yourself. Never delay getting treatment and strictly follow any guidelines provided by healthcare experts. Getting sick in a foreign land where there is no one to take care of you is something that you'll never want to go through when living abroad.

Focus on your mental health

Moving to a different country may take a toll on your mental health. As you find yourself struggling while adapting to the sudden changes and dealing with culture shock, remember to take it easy. Don't overburden yourself with social anxiety and try to engage in productive and stress-reducing activities.

Having a community is key to staying mentally healthy. Make friends through virtual platforms or find expats in your new country. And make sure to get enough sleep and do things that make you happy. If you feel homesick, connect to your folks back home through a video call app and share your thoughts with someone you are close to. Don't pressure yourself to fit in for the sake of making an impression on others.

If you are moving abroad with children, you can help them by giving them enough time and space to adapt to the changes. Moving to a foreign country can be extremely challenging for expat kids, so you need to be supportive.

Bring along your medication

The key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle when you move abroad is to bring your medications with you. With all the stress of moving it's easy to forget them. It can be a struggle to get new medication in your host country, especially when you are already trying to overcome the language barrier.

If you have an underlying health condition, make sure you have enough of your medicine to last you several months. Also, look for healthcare facilities in your host country before you move to make sure you can easily get treatment at an affordable cost.

Set aside some time for working out

It goes without saying that both diet and exercise are vital for a healthy life no matter which country you live in. Maintaining a balanced diet and watching your calorie intake isn't enough; you also need some physical activity. Either buy a machine to exercise at home or join a gym for your workout session. If all this seems too daunting, you can just go for a jog or stroll in a nearby park. A jog or a stroll are also great ways to socialize with your neighbors and make new friends.

Fitness and good health are essential to enjoy life in a new country. The above-mentioned tips will not only help you maintain a healthy lifestyle but will also relieve you mentally when moving abroad.

Cassandra Rose  Posted by Cassandra Rose on July 1, 2015

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