Staying active in Korea is really easy to do because it's an important part of the Korean lifestyle. You’ll often see Koreans out for walks in the parks here, or making good use of the exercise machines that most parks are equipped with. Other popular activities include hiking, and Korea has the most beautiful mountains with trails for people of all skill levels. If you enjoy a challenge, you should try out Seoraksan on the East Coast. Reaching the summit is tough, but well worth it! Another fun activity is bike riding. Most parks will have bike paths, or you can rent at some areas, or buy one for cheap at a local store! Since there can be a lot of traffic, bike riding is a popular form of transportation.
With beautiful views like this, who wouldn't like hiking in Korea?
Some other ways of staying in shape are joining a gym or joining a sports team! You can get a good price on a yearly membership at your local gym. Prices vary based on the gym itself, but on average, they can go for about 300-400,000 won a year! There are also a lot of teams you can join in bigger cities, which gives you a chance to meet other foreigners and Koreans. I joined a yoga studio, which gives me the perfect chance to calm down and stay in shape. Others like to get in touch with the traditional side and join a Tae Kwon Do academy! Depending on where you live, there are going to be plenty of options for you!
Also, Korean food has so many healthier alternatives that you can choose from to maintain your figure. Korean food is known for the amount of vegetables they use in their dishes, even the ones that aren’t as healthy. Ginseng is a very popular product here and used in everything from food to medicine. Sam Gye Tang is a ginseng chicken soup that is perfect on a cold day! Trust me, its good! Meals like bulgogi and bibimbap are still quite good for you, though they still have a bit more salt then usual, but the vegetables definitely help balance it out! Others meals like Juk can be easily digested and are great for when youre sick and need something that can go down easily. Watch out though, Koreans are big on fried chicken so try not to indulge in that too much!
If you have any type of allergies or can’t eat certain foods, I definitely recommend learning the Korean words for those specific things so that you don’t have to worry about what you’re eating! Also, eating organic food as much as possible is probably a good way to go. The organic food movement is growing in Korea and becomes more popular every day!
There are so many things you can do and eat to keep fit and healthy in Korea. Go out and make the most of it so that you can really enjoy yourself while teaching in Korea, and do the best for yourself as well!
Laura Kavanagh is an East Coast girl at heart who graduated from the University of Toronto in Ontario. After a brief volunteer trip to South America, the idea of traveling with a purpose inspired her to get out into the world and make something of herself. Shortly after, Laura snagged a fabulous teaching position at ChungDahm April English through Aclipse. One year later, she is now Head Instructor and loving her life in Bucheon, South Korea. Laura is currently studying the Korean language, where she tries to learn three new words a day. Her favorite one? 'Chinja?!' meaning 'Really?!'
Check out her blog and Connect with her on Twitter. Any questions? Hit her up at firstname.lastname@example.org!