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4 Reasons Why A Move to Spain Could Be Good For Your Health

By : Dakota Murphey

The idea of living in foreign country excites many of us. Learning a foreign language, living in a warmer climate, and enjoying a slower pace of life are some of the many attractions that appeal to those seeking a new life in a new country.

While the upheaval involved in selling up and making a move abroad can be off-putting alone, the Brexit vote has left many Brits even more uncertain about taking the plunge. With no idea what kind of deal will be crafted between the UK and our European neighbours, it’s no wonder those of us considering a move abroad are hesitant.

The truth is until article 50 is triggered we’ll be none the wiser, and even then it will take a further two years of complex negotiations before Britain makes its exit from the European Union. With the latest development brought about by Brexit challenger, Gina Miller (founder of Miller Philanthropy), the British Parliament must now vote on whether the UK can trigger article 50 at all. It’s another lengthy stay of execution, so who knows when the picture will be any clearer.

While the uncertainties of Brexit may be enough to deter a move abroad, for some it has been a reason to go. The fact is people move all over the world, all of the time, for all sorts of reasons. The challenges faced by a move abroad are not insurmountable and for some if there’s a will, there’s a way. Concerns about tax, healthcare and property are obviously valid points to consider. There are also many reasons why moving abroad could be beneficial, and one of those reasons is for better health.

While we wait with baited breath for the outcome of Brexit, Dakota Murphey, working alongside Panorama estate agents, gives you 4 top reasons why a move to Spain could be good for your health.

Life expectancy


According to the latest data published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Spain is ranked 5th in the world in terms of life expectancy, and the Spanish have the highest life expectancy in Europe. On average, Men in Spain can expect to live until they are 80, while women have an average life expectancy of 85.5 years.

The UK ranks 20th in the world in the table of life expectancy statistics. The average life expectancy for a UK male is 79.4, while British women on average reach the age of 81.2. Monaco, Japan and Singapore top the list as countries with the highest life expectancy in the world, while Chad has the lowest life expectancy.

There are many things which may contribute to Spain’s healthy life expectancy. A slower pace of life, the Mediterranean diet and Spanish healthcare, which is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, are most certainly factors.

A slower pace of life


Spain is renowned for its slower pace of life. It takes longer to get things done in Spain, which can be frustrating if you are a do-er. But learning to slow down and rush a little bit less is actually good for you. Living life in the slow lane helps lower stress levels, which are ultimately bad for the body. Constantly living in a state of high alert plays havoc with the physiological processes in the body, and can ultimately lead to disease and chronic fatigue.

Following a slower pace of life can be truly enlightening. Taking things slower allows for greater clarity, and enables you to see and appreciate everything around you. Contrary to your initial thoughts about slowing down, it often allows us to be more efficient, engaging and creative.

With the world moving at breakneck speed, there’s a tendency for us to do everything in the same lane. From eating to watching your kids’ football game, in your head you are already on to the next task. It impinges on our health and on our enjoyment of the present moment. Wolfing food down is a sure way to overeat and put on weight as our brain hasn’t had a chance to register that the stomach is full. A slower pace of life, and taking to time to eat meals more slowly, can actually help you lose weight.

The Mediterranean diet


It’s no secret that the Spanish have a healthier diet than us Brits. The Mediterranean diet has long been touted as having health benefits. Research shows that Mediterranean cuisine reduces the risk of developing a whole range of conditions, such as type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. It has also been linked to longevity and weight loss, and is one of the most heart-healthy diets in the world.

Children eat exactly what the adults eat, just in smaller portions. There are no hideous kids’ menus stuffed with choices containing processed foods and sugar. Overall, for adults and children, the amount of processed food consumed in Spain is much less than in the UK. Then there’s the humble olive. Nearly every nutritionist attributes some of the legendary health benefits of the Mediterranean diet to the omega-3 fats found in olive oil, which is consumed plentifully in Spain.

Culture and family


It’s not just the quality of Mediterranean food that brings health benefits, it’s the way food is consumed. As well as indulging in a diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, and quality fats and proteins, lengthy family mealtimes are a part of the Mediterranean culture and lifestyle.

Studies suggest that British people have some of the longest working hours in Europe, leaving little time for family meals. The hot summers in Spain promote a culture of long lunches, which supports a fantastic way of life for families. The Spanish are social eaters. They make a meal out of lunch-times literally. Lunch is the most important meal of the day and the Spanish know how to spend time enjoying their food.

If you want a slower pace of life and to spend more time with your family, moving to Spain could be a more healthy upheaval than you think.

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