Could Living Abroad Add Years To Your Life?

kaputas beach

Courtesy of  Property Turkey

The UK is famous for its grey, rainy days as well as boasting a lifestyle that never stops, with people hardly ever taking time to focus on their health and wellbeing. For many years Brits have been emigrating away from the British Isles in search of a hotter climate and an overall better quality of life. Studies have shown that living in a hotter climate where the pace of life is much slower, as well as having a more balanced lifestyle, can increase your life expectancy. The experts at Property Turkey have listed the 6 ways moving to a hotter climate can improve your quality of life and, in turn, improve life expectancy.

1 Outdoor Activity

More days of sunshine means more chance to head outside – and more opportunities to stay active.  A study released by the European Society of Cardiology showed that just 25 minutes of walking each day can add seven years to your life – and that the same exercise could halve the risk of heart attack for people in their 50s and 60s.

We all know that the idea of a walk is greatly improved if the weather is favourable, and with 300 days of annual sunshine in hotter regions such as the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Australasia, there is simply more opportunity to get outside and get your body moving. A lifestyle that is lived away from a screen and focused more towards exercising and getting outside has been said to improve your mood and your overall wellness.

kaputas beach

2 Mediterranean Diet

Most of us have heard about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Study after study demonstrates that the increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, olive oils and nuts and lower levels of dairy and meat contribute to lowered levels of heart disease, strokes and cancers.

Scientific studies conducted on this way of eating show that the average lifespan can be extended – as we’ve seen from looking at countries in the Mediterranean which tend to have higher levels of longevity – and what’s more, better quality of life in their ageing populations.

In many countries, fresh fruit and vegetables are widely used to create tasty, healthy meals. Frozen ready meals and canned food aren’t really common. Seafood is also widely available at a good price, meaning that it’s easier to get life-enhancing omega-3 oils into your diet.

Fruit and vegetable salad

3 Cultivating An Active Brain

Moving abroad is a huge life event, bringing with it many changes that require a fair amount of adaptation. One such adaptation new expats will need to make is learning a new language.

A number of studies show that the ability to speak a second language significantly wards off the cognitive decline associated with the fatal diseases dementia and Alzheimers. One study of 200 patients with Alzheimers showed that those who had spoken two or more languages delayed the onset of the disease by four or five years.

Researchers hypothesized that speaking two languages creates a greater cognitive reserve – a bit like a car’s fuel tank – that can help the brain withstand stress.

The good news for those of us who aren’t natural linguists is that even learning a little can actually help a lot. So just learning how to ask directions, bargain for spices in the market or order a meal in a different language isn’t just useful on a day-to-day basis: it might just extend your life.

Trays of spices

4 Having A Purpose

A study by a Canadian university showed that finding a direction in life and setting goals for what you want to achieve helps you live longer – regardless of when you do it.

The study of 569 people showed that participants who had little purpose in their lives were likely to die earlier than those who set goals and made active changes.

Many people dream of making a change in their lives and moving to another country. But few of us ever make the leap. Change is a positive – it kick starts our brains and forces us to take new and often unexpected directions.

Achieving your goal of moving abroad might ensure a life that’s simply not well lived – but long-long lived, too.

Turkish river bank

5 Exposure To Vitamin D

Most regions in hotter countries, including Turkey, receive an average of 250 days a year of sunshine. During cooler months, temperatures normally average at 25 degrees while, in the height of summer during July and August, they rise up to 40%. While this in itself is an attractive lure when thinking about days swimming, sailing or scuba diving, sunlight has many health benefits of which a notable one is Vitamin D.

This essential nutrient is vital to improving our immune system, easing skin disorders such as acne, strengthening teeth and bone, lowering blood pressure as well as decreasing symptoms of asthma. Recent years have seen an avalanche of warnings and newspaper articles about skin cancer caused by the sun, but in moderate doses, the sun is extremely good for our health.

6 Taking It Slowly And Relaxing

The lifestyles in many hotter regions tend to be much slower and much more relaxed – this is due to the hotter and dry climates.

A fast-paced lifestyle is manageable when we are younger, but as we tend to get older, we slow down. We prefer to take longer over tasks and analyse situations more methodically. The “tomorrow” attitude is the perfect way to do this. More often than not, you also realise that stressing over the small things in life is simply not worth it.



Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!