You’ve probably heard that eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is good for you. But what if we took that advice to a more extreme level? What if the world’s longest-lived people – those who live past 100 years old – follow those same principles? This article shares insights from The Blue Zones book, which profiles the world’s healthiest and longest-lived people. Many of these people live in so-called “blue zones” – places with high concentrations of older adults. While their diet and lifestyle habits might seem like a drastic change from how many of us eat and live today, they are worth exploring as much as any other diet or exercise fad. Here are some things we can learn from them…
Move Naturally Throughout The Day
Humans evolved to be on the move throughout their entire lives, not just when they were young and athletic. When you go to the gym and only exercise, you’re not tackling the same issues that cause people to lose function and health. This includes the effects of being sedentary, which may be just as harmful to you as smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating poorly. Ageing isn’t a process that happens to you; it’s a process that you do to yourself. That’s why it’s so important to keep moving throughout your life. You can do simple things like take the stairs, stand while you’re talking on the phone, or do stretches while you’re watching TV.
Enjoy A Plant-Based Diet
The world’s healthiest and longest-lived people tend to have a plant-based diet. This means they eat mostly vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, with occasional servings of meat or fish. While meat provides essential nutrients, it’s also one of the main causes of death and disease in the world. As much as we love eating them, animal-based foods are the main reason for increased rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
Have Meaning And Purpose In Your Life
One of the best predictors of long life is if you have a sense of purpose in your life. People who have a strong sense of purpose have been shown to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduced risk of obesity, and reduced risk of depression. Taking time to reflect on the things that are most important to you and then living your life in accordance with those values is one of the best ways to promote long life.
Commit To Exercise No Matter What
Studies show that the world’s healthiest and longest-lived people exercise as a part of their daily life. The common recommendation is to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. Most of the centenarians in the “blue zones” do much more than that, with many logging at least two hours of daily exercise. Some of the exercises they do include walking, gardening, yoga, and other forms of mind-body exercises. The most important thing about this is to commit to exercising, regardless of what you feel like doing or what other people are doing. It’s crucial to have the discipline to make time for exercise when your energy levels are low, when you don’t feel like exercising, or when you have more pressing obligations in your life.
Take Care Of Your Mind Just As Much As Your Body
As you get older, many people start to focus more on their bodies, while neglecting the importance of their minds. This is a mistake, as mental health and well-being are just as important as physical health. The world’s healthiest and longest-lived people have a strong social network, and they make time to be with friends and family regularly. They also participate in meaningful activities, whether it be being a member of a club or organization, volunteering, or pursuing a creative passion.
The Importance Of Helping Others
The world’s healthiest and longest-lived people are generous people who regularly give back to their communities. There are many ways to do this, such as volunteering, mentoring, donating to charity, and being a good neighbour. While you might not live as long if you are always helping others, research has shown that those who regularly give back to others are happier and live longer. This is because helping others activates the neural pathways that make us feel good. Having a sense of purpose and meaning in your life is important, but it is also hard to achieve. One way of making this easier is to find ways to help others. This takes the focus off you and can actually be extremely rewarding.
The Importance Of Having Gratitude
One of the most important things that keep people happy and healthy as they get older is gratitude. The healthiest and longest-lived people have a gratitude practice that includes reflecting on the things in life they’re grateful for. The happiest people have a mentality of gratitude, and the Blue Zone people have that same mentality. Having gratitude and being happy are important aspects of a long and healthy life. And lastly, gratitude can help you tackle several health issues, such as anxiety and depression. So, gratitude is a great practice to have to improve your health.
The Importance Of Having Good Relationships
Health and longevity are closely tied to quality relationships in your life. People who have happy, healthy relationships live longer, happier lives than people who don’t have strong connections with others. The healthiest and longest-lived people have relationships that are rich in quality time, where they regularly spend time together. They also have a positive outlook and are optimistic, positive people.
The Importance Of Optimism
The healthiest and longest-lived people are optimistic people who shoot for the moon and don’t let roadblocks bring them down. While they are realistic, they also expect positive outcomes in their lives and are resilient when things don’t go as planned. Caring for your body and mind and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, but it’s something that many people forget about. These people living in the “blue zones” show us that it’s possible for us to live longer, healthier lives if we adopt some of the same habits they do. See the book here.