For most expats, living abroad is a wonderful opportunity to take on new adventures and challenges. It is also a great way to learn new languages, experience new cultures, and discover even more about yourself. However, staying fit and healthy may be the last thing on your mind.

According to HSBC Holdings, Singapore ranked number one in the overall Expat Explorer Country League Table as 62% of expats claimed to have a better quality of life and earn more than in their native country. In fact, you will find the best fitness centers in Singapore as Fitness First is one of the country’s leading lifestyle brands that is taking over Asia. Exercise will help you maintain your BMI to achieve optimum health as well as a variety of benefits that include a healthier heart, increased stamina, sharper mind, and overall wellness.

Here are 4 benefits of staying healthy and exercise while living abroad.

Exercise Encourages Socialization

Expats may find it more difficult to socialize and meet new people than they did in their home country. However, most gyms hold group classes to encourage motivation and socialization. Staying socially active can help maintain both physical and emotional health, especially when you are experiencing culture shock. You can try joining a fitness class with people from work or plan physical activities together as a group.

Promotes Happiness

Some of the most common stress factors in expatriates include occupational insecurity, financial distress, and homesickness. Exercises that range from cycling to walking can help people feel better and relieve symptoms of depression by triggering the chemical release of serotonin, endorphins, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain.

Expat Health and Fitness in Singapore
(Image credit: Dev Dodia)

Exercise Boosts a Healthy Brain

According to health researchers from Harvard University, studies show that exercise helps boost thinking and memory through both direct and indirect means. Physical exercise has the ability to reduce insulin resistance, stimulate the release of growth, and reduce inflammation. As a result, the chemicals in the brain benefit from healthy blood flow, the growth of new blood vessels and brain cells.

Introduces New Diet and Ingredients

An unhealthy diet and the lack of exercise are the leading risks to global wellness. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that a healthy diet helps fight against common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As every country follows their own diet and routine, expatriates have the opportunity to explore new diets and ingredients to incorporate into their daily meals. However, expats should avoid local street food stands and visit local markets and grocery stores for fresh items instead.

Whether you plan to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine, improve your health, or learn something new, exercise is a great way to help expats adjust and live happily in their new country.


Expat Blogger Sally WritesSally Jackson is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.

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