So the question is, How to improve the quality of life and live longer? It’s not all that complicated really. If you check out the Blue Zones of the world, where people routinely enjoy the quality of life for a hundred years or more, the key ingredients seem to be a sound diet, regular fitness and socializing.
MAINTAINING A SOUND DIET
I know that people are getting tired of hearing it, but what you tend to eat on a regular basis has a huge impact on your health. Well, the reason you keep reading and hearing about it is that it’s true. So what is the best diet for seniors?
The healthiest geographical demographic in the world tends to lean toward the Mediterranean-style diet. Usually, that means eating a diet that consists of several key ingredients.
Number one on the list appears to be extra virgin olive oil. People who practice the Mediterranean Diet swear by it and it’s the main component in cooking.
If you are going to eat copious amounts of vegetables and legumes, as those on the Med Diet do, it’s important to cook them in olive oil. This ensures that the carbohydrates and balanced with a high-quality fat.
Normally, people living in the Blue Zones of the world will eat small amounts of meat once or twice a week. Generally, it’s eaten as a side dish in small amounts like two ounces for instance. Seldom do they eat meat more than once or twice a week.
They also eat eggs, but normally they are eaten as part of a breakfast wrap that includes beans. As a rule, they limit eggs to about three per week.
There are many books on the Blue Zone that you might find interesting and helpful.
ALSO, READ THIS WEBSITE POST: HIGH PROTEIN LOW CARB DIET
They don’t drink cows milk, but rather get their milk from goats. Goats are their main source of cheese as well.
Fish is an important component of their diet. Normally, it’s fresh-caught fish and smaller fish like sardines and code tend to be the fish of choice. They never attempt to over-fish. They catch enough fish to provide for their immediate needs.
As a general rule, people in the Blue Zones of the world gather their food within ten miles of their home.
In a nutshell, that usually means no processed or junk food.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR FITNESS
It’s no secret that regular fitness for seniors has a huge impact on the quality of life and longevity. There are numerous studies to support this, but it’s not really necessary to check out the studies. It just makes common sense that the human body will respond when challenged to stay strong.
The main reason why many people have short lifespans after retirement is because they stop moving. They have worked all their lives and now they reason that it’s time to stop and smell the roses.
The problem with that scenario is that they are sending the wrong message to their bodies. As soon as our bodies realize that certain muscles are no longer being used, those same muscles will often grow soft or be victims of atrophy.
The same goes for the heart. If the body senses that physical effort is coming to a halt, the heart will just get weaker.
After all, the heart is just another muscle and will weaken if not challenged. Once the body senses that the heart does not have to be strong in order to pump vast amounts of blood to working muscles because they are no longer working it simply grows weaker.
Being fit does not necessarily mean going to the gym three times a week. The people living in the Blue Zones of the world are incredibly fit, but there is no gym in sight.
They stay fit by staying outside and continually moving. They fish, work in their gardens growing their own food, and those with goats will climb over hill and dale tending to their flock. It’s a natural, and perhaps the best, source of fitness. Nothing they do over-stresses the body.
WHY SOCIAL LIFE IS IMPORTANT
Many North Americans are in the habit of filling up their plates and eating in front of the television. In many cases, it’s because they live alone, but still, an effort can be made to have special meals whether you live alone or not.
I remember when reading the story of the oldest woman in the world. She died when she was 117. She lived alone for about the last 85 years of her life, but always did a table setting for her meals. For her, eating a meal was a special occasion.
It’s normal in the Blue Zones of the world for the inhabitants to thrive on large gatherings for meals. In North America we have a family get together at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. It’s normal in the Blue Zone they have them all year.
It’s really a social event and they always have red wine with their meals. This is another staple of the Mediterranean Diet. It seems to make sense that this can have a huge impact on a person’s longevity. Having a solid social structure most likely gives many people more of a sense of purpose. They have more of a reason to live.
People who practice a Mediterranean style diet suffer from far fewer heart problems, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses that plague North American seniors.
Fitness makes a huge contribution to longevity and health as well and as discussed, so does a well-balanced social life.
There is no reason why the rest of the world can’t live lives that are just as long and as healthy as the people in the Blue Zones of the world. It’s just a matter of making lifestyle changes.
The problem is, North Americans are too set in their ways. We are too dependent on fast, processed food, and lifestyles devoid of any sort of exercise at all.
There is no denying that some people are trying to find a fitter solution. Look no further than the people who are trying all the different diets out there. They want to know what works and will try the Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and a host of other diets.
It’s almost as if they make it more complicated than it has to be. Simply make better food choices, exercise on a daily basis, and try to improve your social life. It’s not really a mystery, you just have to make up your mind to do.
Make sound choices and you can improve your quality of life and your longevity in one fell swoop.
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