3 Tips For Keeping Your Health In Check As An Expat
Living abroad has countless benefits and possibilities: you get to live an adventurous lifestyle and become integrated into cultures very different from your own. But living away from your home country comes with challenges as well, one of which is the difficulty of finding good healthcare options abroad. Here are a few tips to help keeping your health in check as you travel.
Bring the Essentials
This tip is going to depend heavily on where you are going to be living as an expat. It’s important to realize that you may not be able to find some of your go-to healthcare items in your new home. Things like fluoride free toothpaste or your preferred type of feminine hygiene product might be impossible to find in some other countries. You’ll either have to have those products sent to you, most likely for a ridiculously high price, or you’ll need to accept an alternative. If your doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider has recommended a specific product or medication, it’s important for you to make sure you’ll have access to it in your new home, and sometimes that means stocking up and bringing it with you.
This is one reason why it’s important to get your checkups before you leave the country. Not only might you need some specific vaccinations to get into the country you’re hoping to live in, but you want to make sure you don’t have any undiscovered health issues. You may not have as much access to healthcare where you’re living as you’ve gotten used to at home, so making sure you’re healthy before you leave can be a huge help.
Learn Portion Control
One unexpected side effect of travel for many people is weight gain. When you’re in a new country surrounded by cuisines you’ve never tasted and want to get familiar with, it can be difficult to hold back from totally overindulging at every opportunity. Especially if you’re living somewhere with a thriving street food culture, you’ll have constant access to delicious and most likely unhealthy foods. It’s important to set health goals for yourself before you start your trip, like committing to eating three servings of fruits and vegetables every day, or only having desserts on the weekend.
Try to split large portions of unhealthier foods among a group or save part of it for later. Just because the serving size is for one person doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing. It can be hard to adjust to this portion-control mindset if you’re an avid traveler since short-term trips come with a carefree attitude about food. But if you’re living somewhere long-term, you need to ensure you’re not treating it like a vacation.
Get Daily Exercise
If you’re living in a walking city or an area where biking is the norm, you might take for granted that you’ll be getting plenty of exercise every day. But for many expats who work remotely, it can become all too easy to spend every day sitting at a desk, then sitting on a sofa, then going to bed. Another contributing factor to a sedentary lifestyle is the possibility that you may not know many people where you’re living. If you don’t have people to go out with, it can be intimidating to leave your home and explore your new location.
Finding friends through local meetups and social groups can be a great way to make sure you’ll be getting out occasionally and you should try to find some local walking or biking places so you can get some movement in on your own. You don’t have to hit the gym five times a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Making small choices every day can have a huge impact on whether or not your health stays in check while you’re living as an expat abroad.