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woman exercising at home with baby on her back; image used for HSBC International Services Life abroad article Fitness tips for expats.

Tips to staying fit and healthy as an expat

Happiness, family and financial security are among the top goals for many expats. But keeping fit and healthy, both mentally and physically, may become more difficult as you settle into a new country and routine.

It doesn't have to be a burden or cost a fortune. If it's a priority for you to maintain your health, check out these tips that could help you get 'back in the saddle'!

Establish your new routine

You may be starting a new job and settling into a new life abroad, so it may take some time to establish your new routine. Use this as an opportunity to kick start those healthy habits by incorporating exercise and healthy eating into your day. Whether that's going for a quick run or swim before work or planning your shop to cooking from scratch in the evening, identify where you could add quality time for yourself and watch it as it turns into a habit. You could even take a bike to work and kill two birds with one stone.

Remember, it takes about 60 days for your actions to become habit, so keep at it!

Free as a bee fitness

Put your trainers on and make the most of the outdoors. You don't have to have a fancy gym membership to keep fit - use what you have around you. Whether this is paths, roads, tracks or even your living room, with a bit of inspiration you can create your home gym where ever you want. You can also track your fitness journey with apps like My Fitness Pal, Map my Run or Strava. It's a great way to share your activity with your friends and family.

Sports injuries can be a drag. Hopefully you got yourself some health insurance before you moved house.

adidas Runners

Running – you can do it anywhere, anytime. Meet up with this group of expats and locals to discover hidden trails and urban alleys. Adidas Runners is an international community offering running clubs around the world an opportunity to get fit as a running beginner or as an advanced athlete.

Check out more information here.

Hydration is key

Changes in temperature and altitude can affect how much water your body needs. Keep your water bottle filled up and with you to ensure you're drinking the recommended amount of around 2 litres of water per day.

Barry's boot camp

It's the original HIIT workout. We bet you haven't experienced anything like this. With studios all around the world, Barry's boot camp offers High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes for its international community. Made up of 50% treadmill and 50% strength training, it's the perfect all-round workout for those who need a quick and intense session before or after work.

Find a Barry's Bootcamp studio here.

YouTube, aka your new personal trainer

Don't have time or the money to hire a personal trainer and go to the gym?

Well, you can exercise in the comfort of your own home with just a mat, a towel and a bottle of water. Work out in your pajamas? Why not! FitnessBlender is currently the most popular exercise channel on YouTube. This healthy husband and wife duo have garnered over 5.8 million subscribers with 500 workout videos, and users like the "no frills" approach to fitness. Working out at home doesn't require a gym membership or much equipment, but you will need motivation.

Take free YouTube videos one step further with a bit of equipment, like free weights or a cardio machine – whatever you have space for. The best equipment allows you to use your body weight, so there's no need for bulky machines. Go for resistance bands, dumbbells, a pull-up bar and even space-saving mini elliptical and stationary bikes. You'll be looking so good, you may want to hit a real gym just to show off.

Eating sensibly

Settling into a new country can be exciting as often you discover a brand new culture, and of course, their food! Going for dinners after work or going out with the family is important, but equally ensure you are excising good portion control when you eat to make sure you're not overindulging. This could be using a smaller plate, asking for a salad as a side rather than fries, and understanding what a portion of a certain food group is.

Learn more about our international services

Trying to stick to an exercise routine is not the only thing that's hard when you relocate. We offer services for expats who could use a little help with their move, like professional property and education consultants, full global banking services, and country guides.

We can't help you get in shape, but we can help you get settled.

Learn more about our international services.