What are Some Ways to Eat and Stay Healthy While Living Abroad?
At first, the idea of living abroad sounds like an extended vacation—you look forward to having so much time to visit famous landmarks, soak in the culture, or eat exotic foods. What could possibly go wrong? Then the reality sets in, or in other words, the honeymoon is over. You realize that you’re not really on a vacation. You have to learn a new way of life in a country that’s going to be your home for several months or years.
Challenges of Staying Fit in a New Country
If you struggled with eating healthy when you lived in your home country, that issue is going to be magnified living abroad. While overseas, you may not have access to familiar foods and product brands. You’re also learning a new food culture as well as a new language. But maybe you had an established healthy routine before you moved abroad. It should be simple to transfer that to another country, right? However, it’s not that easy. It may be difficult to join a gym in a foreign country because of the language barrier, or you may not have the extra funds.
Overcoming Obstacles to Healthy Living Abroad
It’s easy to let your health fall to the wayside when you’re not in your element. You’re already dealing with a lot of change, so you may feel that you don’t want to add healthy eating as one more thing on your checklist. However, a healthy eating and exercise routine may be the medicine you need to manage the stress of adjusting to a new environment. You’re dealing with so much change, and keeping up your health is one of the best ways to cope. Here are some ideas of ways you can eat healthily and exercise while living abroad.
Set Up a Routine to Get Your Body Moving
When living abroad, you may think you could replicate the same exercise routine you had in your home country. However, you may not have access to the same resources you once had. So let’s say that when living in the United States, you usually went to the gym in the evenings. But when you live abroad, you may not be able to get a gym membership or have as much time to exercise in the evenings as you did before. You’ll have to accept you’re going to have to develop new routines while living abroad.
To get yourself back (or get started) on a healthy exercise routine, try working out in the mornings. Your exercise gets done even before anything else comes up. Also, try to look for ways to get more exercise throughout the day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. While living abroad, you could join meetup groups with similar exercise goals—you meet other foreigners who are in the same position as you: feeling their way in a new country and culture.
Get to Know Local Health Trends
Shopping in a grocery store in a foreign country will be a culture shock itself. You’re more than dealing with a language barrier; you’re also dealing with a selection of foods that you’re not familiar with. Diet staples in the United States are not the same everywhere else, so your favorite foods may not even be stocked in stores. In some counties, your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables cost way more than expect, which prevents you from eating the same amount of raw foods that you had once before.
So when in Rome, do what Romans do. Try to get to know the local health trends. Just like how plant-based hamptoncreek products are gaining traction in the United States, other countries also have up-and-coming food products that promote a healthy lifestyle. Observe the whole foods are often part of a meal. For example, a typical breakfast in Japan includes a lean protein like grilled fish. That item isn’t part of a typical American breakfast. So, you could start a healthy routine by including grilled fish in your morning meals, and you get to experience local cuisine.
Here’s one more thing to note: food labels on foreign foods may list kilocalories per serving rather than listing calories per serving like in the United States. The two measurements mean the same thing; in the United States, the “kilo” is dropped.
Living abroad comes with many benefits, but don’t let it be at the expense of your health. These healthy eating and wellness tips can help you adjust to your new surroundings.