1. Improved Bowel Movement: Squat Toilets!

I admit that squatting over a hole in the ground is extremely weird if you’ve never done it before. However studies show that the squatting position is not only more hygienic but also healthier than sitting. Humans were “designed” to squat! Sitting actually stops the flows and tenses muscles that should be relaxed for everything to go smoothly. Don’t believe me? Here’s one of countless articles on the topic.

Just imagine how much better the world would be if everyone squatted. There are even social benefits like not arguing about leaving the toilet seat up. In fact, no one would ever have to touch a toilet seat again! Not sure how to do it without making a mess? Read an article with tips on how to do it right!

2. Staying Young Forever with Adrenaline Rushes: Crossing the Road is an Adventure!

This may not be true for every city in China, but Huaqiao has some pretty unique driving norms. On my very first day here I was told to do the following:

•    Ignore traffic lights – no one respects them so relying on them is dangerous
•    Look both ways when crossing the road even if it’s one way
•    Practice constant vigilance near cars, e-bikes or tuk tuks

In just one week I’ve witnessed a car accident involving a tuk tuk and seen dozens of e-bikes driving fearlessly in the wrong direction on busy roads full of fast cars. It’s pretty easy to get that daily dose of adrenaline every time I leave the apartment, so I’m excited to discover that it can protect my body and mind from the effects of aging. I’ll just have to avoid getting run over long enough to test the theory…

3. Achieving Perfect Spine Alignment – Hard Mattresses

The health benefits of sleeping on a firm mattress have been circulating media for years now. It can be extremely uncomfortable at first but anyone can get used to sleeping on a hard surface. Plus the benefits make the adjustment period worth it. To maximize health benefits, Chinese mattresses are made extra hard. To an inexperienced foreigner like myself, lying on one can be compared to lying on the floor – and not the soft carpeted kind.

Here are some Chinese mattresses tips for fellow newbies:
•    Do your best to give sleep on a hard mattress a change, it can only make you healthier
•    Expect a few sleepless nights and grumpy mornings
•    Don’t panic if you can’t sleep on a hard mattress, you can buy a soft one in IKEA
•    Don’t jump onto a hard mattress unless you live near the ER
•    Don’t expect to find a soft mattress in a Chinese furniture store*

* If someone allegedly knows a Chinese furniture store that sells soft mattresses, don’t get overly excited and make sure to knock on some wood (or your stone-hard mattress) to avoid jinxing your good fortune.

4. Daily Toxin Cleansing – Unlimited Sweating in 40°C Weather

It may be a myth that sweating helps eliminate toxins but there are plenty of other health benefits including an endorphin boost, cold prevention and decreased risk of kidney stones just to mention a few. This year has apparently been one of the hottest summers ever and my first week had a consistent temperature of high 30s & low 40s (100+°F) that felt like 50°C (122°F). It’s great to know that I’ll be very healthy until about early October!

There is also no regular Western deodorant in my city! So I don’t have worry about potentially cancerogenic substances found in most types of deodorants. This doesn’t mean I go around smelling bad, there are plenty of natural ways to keep from smelling bad – dabbing some baking soda on your armpits works wonders!

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