Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Staying Fit While Teaching in South Korea

Posted on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 @ 04:37 PM

Even for the most health-conscious among us, being put in an unfamiliar environment can certainly take its toll on our fitness goals. While teaching in Korea, you may have more idle time than you may be used to and no shortage of opportunities to indulge yourself in Korean cuisine. The combination of these two things can turn you from the gym rat you were at home into a couch 감자 (potato) by the end of your first term teaching in South Korea.

Luckily, Korea offers plenty of options for maintaining fitness. Whether you are an occasional jogger, a gym rat, or a triathlete, opportunities abound for you to maintain your routine while in Korea!

If you are looking for a health club, you will more than likely find one. Every teacher that I know throughout Korea is in close proximity of one – my local gym is about a football field away from my apartment.  For ₩60,000/month (around $50 USD) I get a full service gym complete with showers, a sauna, and access to a golf driving range and screen golf facilities. They even provide clothes to wear while you workout!

My local gym.

Those looking for a more-cost friendly option can hit the pavement on one of Korea’s beautiful parks. This comes with the added bonus of getting away from your everyday routine – almost like a mini-vacation. If that was not enough, the parks in Korea have exercise equipment!

Basketball was one of my favorite pastimes at home and I was worried that I would not be able to play. However, I live about half a mile away from a university that has four courts that are always full!

My neighbor and co-worker, Bryan, was concerned about being able to keep his boxing hobby going while in Korea. With a bit of effort he was able to find a boxing gym right here in Yeongtong!

South Korea is crazy about sports! Korea just hosted the IAAF World Championships and will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongyang.

You will have plenty of time for fitness with the teaching schedule at your school. So, as long as you are dedicated to staying fit, you can be as active as you want in Korea!


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Brandon Kearns was born and raised in North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. He wanted to live abroad after graduation and decided, much to the surprise of his friends and family, that South Korea was the place. In February 2011, Brandon accepted a position with Chungdahm Learning through Aclipse and arrived in Suwon, just south of Seoul.  Brandon had no idea what to expect but so far living abroad has been an eye-opening experience. Follow his blog to see what a great time he is having!

Tags: ex-pat life in Korea, living in Korea, Korean cuisine, Activities to do in Korea, health and safety in Korea

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