Healthy Living Tips While Living in China

China faces a lot of public health crises, particularly in regards to air pollution, lack of fitness culture, and unhealthy food. If you’re planning to go there on business or for school, here’s how you can choose healthy options and stay fit while abroad.

According to, research show that many of the nation’s teens and adults do not engage in physical fitness on a regular basis. This is especially true for college students and young athletes. A survey of 4,000 college students found that nearly 60 percent claimed to exercise twice a week, compared with 23 percent who said they didn’t really exercise at all.

And when it comes to unhealthy food consumption in China, the obesity epidemic has reached an all-time high. Between the years of 1980 and 2008, obesity tripled, resulting in 904 million obese citizens throughout China, says The Guardian.

Eating Healthy

Eating healthy can be challenging no matter which country you visit. Just take America, for instance, where the prevalence of burgers, pizza and everything fried can temp you at every turn. Americanized Chinese food can be extremely greasy and fried, representing one of the most unhealthy options for takeout possible. People assume food in China is healthier than what we are used to; while that’s true to some degree, it’s still quite unhealthy due to all the heavy oils used in cooking, as well as the inclusion of fatty meats.

Eating healthy while abroad is easier when you stick to these rules by the American Heart Association:

• Go with dishes chock full of vegetables, such as chop suey with steamed rice.
• Opt for chicken over duck, which can be very fatty.
• Don’t reach for the crispy fried noodles.
• Request that very minimal oil be used in the preparation of your stir fry dishes.
• Ask for your meals made sans soy sauce, MSG and salt.
• Go for steamed rice over fried rice.
• Instead of fried entrees, try their broiled, boiled, steamed or lightly stir-fried counterparts.

Air Quality

To ensure better air quality for you in your daily life, take these steps:

• Purchase an air purifier, such as charcoal, electrostatic, HEPA or ionization.
• Take public transportation if possible. Transit systems reduce smog and lower each citizen’s carbon footprint, plus they tend to be a healthier ride than a car because they are often buried or elevated. This separates them from normal street traffic.

Stay Fit

You’re in a new country: take this opportunity to explore on foot all the wonderful things about your new home. Go for long walks, hit museums, and stroll through the park. Take up a fitness class, yoga, kickboxing or even self-defense classes. Ride a bike everywhere instead of using a car. Explore the culture and participate in any way you can. Learn the local Mandarin language with the help of BRIC Language Systems!

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