Study proves expat life in retirement is great for your health

Published:  24 May at 6 PM
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A new report seems to prove that a healthier, more active lifestyle comes naturally as part of becoming a retired expat.

The decision to retire overseas is strongly influenced by the desire for a warmer climate, less stress, clean water and air, healthier and more natural food and, in most cases, a lower cost of living. Expat advisory websites extol a wide variety of desirable retirement locations across the continents, but few mention the unseen benefits of a change from a city-bound Western lifestyle.

A survey taken on behalf of, seems to have proven that the vast majority of retirees heading for a new life overseas also become far healthier and even slimmer than they were in their home countries. Whilst the survey concentrated on US retirees relocating south of the border, it’s certain that it holds true for the majority of international expats heading to drier, sunnier climes.

Losing weight without even trying is one of the first signs of a healthier expat retirement, caused mainly by less reliance on the processed and fatty convenience foods making up the majority of Western diets. Most retirees are amazed that excess fat falls off without having to watch what they eat or spend most of the day exercising.

Once they’ve settled in, many retirees decide to give up on using a car to get around, preferring to walk, use public transport or even cycle. Sunny weather makes the decision easy as well as sensible from a health point of view, and a beachside location encourages swimming – one of the most successful forms of overall exercise.

A diet sourced in the local farmers’ market and crowded with fresh fruit, vegetables and other natural goodies does wonders for the expat immune system as well as reducing the risk of succumbing to stress-related illnesses. Retirees nowadays tend towards the active side of life and, according to the survey, those who left their home countries with diagnosed illnesses such as arthritis soon found their symptoms lessening or even disappearing altogether.
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