Brits and city dwellers certainly experience the change of different seasons. Whilst this could be seen as the best of both worlds, the consistently warmer weather in a tropical climate has many health benefits.
It can be a culture shock at first. You will have to acclimatise to the change in surroundings, but once you have adapted to different countries, you may find yourself living a lighter, happier and more fulfilling life.
These are some of the main reasons why expats and other travellers live healthier lifestyles in tropical countries, whether it’s in the Caribbean, South East Asia or anywhere else with a tropical climate.
Forever on holiday
The obvious benefit of living in warmer temperatures is the feeling that you are on holiday. Some of us like to nip to sunnier countries and then return to our rainy lives at home, or travel to Thailand or Australia on our gap year. Yet, committing to this lifestyle for a longer period can have more generous benefits.
Pace of life
If you have ever travelled to a tropical country, you will have noticed that the country has a slower pace of life. People are more chilled out, relaxed and stress-free when the sun is shining. This quickly effects your lifestyle for the better because you have more time to spend outside, appreciate your surroundings and relax.
Exercise and outdoor activities
Outside exercise is better for physical and mental health because it lowers blood pressure and stress. Exercise like deep-sea fishing, kayaking and surfing puts less strain on your muscles and therefore can be more effective exercise too.
Outdoor exercise is also more varied and enjoyable. If the deep sea doesn’t appeal, you can hike in the jungle or explore rainforests. It is easier to get the minutes in, as you will have more of an active lifestyle day-to-day, without even realizing it or setting time to go to a gym.
Physical Health Benefits
Healthier and fresher food
A defining feature of the tropics is tropical fruits – coconuts, mango, guava and pineapple are easy to find. Living in tropical temperatures gives us more of an appetite for lighter and fresher foods to keep cool and energised.
When surrounded by beaches, people eat more seafood, rich in Iodine, Zinc, Potassium and Selenium. Selenium makes enzymes that help protect us from cancer. Fatty acids and omega-3 are crucial for:
- optimal body function
- optimal brain function
- lower risk of blood clots and inflammation
- lower risk of heart disease
- relieving pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
As you are more likely to walk and regularly exercise, your joints will remain limber. This can prevent arthritis rather than just ease the symptoms later.
At least 40% of Westerners have a Vitamin D deficiency. Living in rainy countries usually involves more time spent inside out of the sun.
Experts claim just 15 minutes of sun exposure per day gives a recommended dose of Vitamin D and this time is easily achievable in tropical climates.
Vitamin D or the ‘sunshine’ vitamin is said to also prevent cancer. According to the NHS it cuts the risk by at least 22%, and up to 55% for liver cancer.
Mental Health Benefits
Vitamin D levels is also connected to hormones that improve your mood, so warmer temperatures are also good for your mental health. Low mood can make you lose passion and interest in life and activities.
The slower pace of life and being outdoors reduces release of stress hormones and increases happy hormones such as Serotonin. The cheaper cost of living in tropical countries may also reduce stress and improve your mood.
Studies suggest a link in low levels of omega-3 in depression, bipolar and seasonal affective disorder. As the seasons are more consistent in tropical climates, your mood will be too.
According to the BBC, always being active in mind and body, typical with city living, could tamper with memory formation. Due to increased ability to live and work outside in tropical climates, you spend more time doing ‘nothing’ which gives your mind time to memorise and reflect.
Other research shows that your alertness and physiological performance is at its best when your body is warm.
View our expert country guides for more information about your chosen location. As a warmer climate generally requires less clothing too, you can pack lighter and potentially save on your international removal costs!