expat network

How Expats Can Stay Fit And Healthy At Home

fit and healthy
As expats across the globe continue to be isolated in their homes, keeping up with physical fitness is quickly becoming an overwhelming concern, especially for those who are used to regularly visiting the gym and enjoy staying active.

Exercise is not only important for physical fitness, however. Getting your heart pumping is also extremely beneficial for your mental health as it boosts the body’s feel-good hormones, improving your overall mood as well as helping you to feel more energised. Even if you have never exercised before, keeping active during self-isolation can help you stay positive and focused. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy at home during self-isolation, no matter your fitness level or experience.


Stick to a routine

One of the most difficult aspects of self-isolation is the sudden lack of routine faced by those expats used to leaving the house every day to go to work. Creating a home-based routine that includes getting dressed every morning and eating at regular times, for example, is extremely important when it comes to both mental and physical health. Incorporating exercise into this daily routine will help you stick to it every day, even if this is just going for a walk about the house every half an hour.

If you’re an expat working from home during this time, establishing a routine that includes exercise can be difficult. However, keeping up with physical activity has been proven to also help improve productivity by increasing your focus as well as your creativity levels. Setting aside time in your day dedicated to exercise will help you maintain structure whilst keeping you fit and healthy.


Get outside

If you’re in a country that still allows you to exercise outside once a day, such as the UK, it is important to make the most of this time whenever you can. Not only will this help keep you fit, but getting some fresh air and sunlight will also benefit your mental health substantially.

If possible, go for a walk or a run somewhere scenic with lots of trees and greenery. It is thought that spending time in nature can work wonders for your mental health, improving your mood, relieving stress and helping you to feel relaxed. If you are an expat in a country with tighter restrictions, try exercising or doing yoga in your garden in order to get some extra fresh air.


Work with what you have

Whilst some are lucky enough to own exercise bikes, treadmills and other at-home gym essentials, for those without equipment, keeping up with physical fitness can seem like an impossible challenge.

However, it is possible to utilise the space in your household to fit in an effective workout that will get your heart pumping. Try running on the spot or up and down the stairs alongside sets of jumping jacks and squat jumps to really break a sweat. Using household items as weights, for example tin cans or filled water bottles, can also easily make up for the lack of dumbbells in your home.


Follow home workout tutorials

For those not used to exercising, there are thousands of videos online that are easy to follow and cater for a wide range of experience levels. If you’re not in the mood for cardio, try following a yoga tutorial or a pilates class. If you live in an apartment with limited space, or if you’re conscious of making noise, try a low impact workout tutorial, these exercises will still get your body moving and you will feel all the better for it afterwards!

If you’re not used to working out, or if you’re bored of your regular cardio routines, try a dance cardio video instead. Dance cardio is a fun alternative that will give you the same benefits as any other cardio workout whilst also being a great way for beginners to get into fitness without it feeling like exercising at all!


Challenge yourself

Whilst you shouldn’t feel pressured to exercise during self-isolation, for those looking to challenge themselves and start their fitness journey, it is a great opportunity to get started. For many, the thought of joining a gym or getting outside for a run can be daunting and off putting. Exercising from the comfort of your own home is a great way to get started and build up your confidence.

If you suffer from cardiovascular or respiratory issues it is important to consult a doctor before embarking on a radically new exercise routine in order to avoid complications. Global health care plans that offer virtual health care for expats are especially useful during this time, allowing you to speak with a medical professional from the comfort of your own home about any concerns you may have.

Staying fit and healthy at home during isolation is certainly an achievable goal when you put your mind to it. There are many ways to think creatively when it comes to working out from both inside your home and with your limited time allowed outside. Keep to a schedule throughout your day and you will find making the time to workout and stay fit is much easier than you first thought!