It’s never too late to change your life for the better. Check this article out on how to live longer and feel better in nine doable steps. It’s not necessarily a goal reserved for select groups of people in the world.
The inhabitants of the Blue Zones of the world have figured it out and there is no reason at all why the rest of the world can’t follow there lead.
Not only do those in the Blue Zones live a very long time on average, but they also enjoy an exceptional quality of life. After all, what’s the point of living longer if you are just existing and not actually enjoying all those extra years?
The five Blue Zones of the world are Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Ikaria, Greece.
Here are the nine reasons why they live such long, vibrant lives.
(1)MODERATE, REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
The people in the Blue Zones of the world don’t go to gyms. They don’t have treadmills and exercise machines. They don’t push there bodies to the limit when they exercise and don’t go out of there a way to exercise.
All they do is spend a lot of time outside working there farms, gardens, tending livestock, and fishing. They work the land and walk through the hills and forests surrounding their homes. They don’t plan this for three times a week. It’s what they do as part of there daily lives.
These regular doses of physical activity are slow and relaxed and not high intensity but its normally ongoing throughout the day. It comes for free as its already built into there way of life.
They are using a full range of muscles, circulating their blood, and burning calories in the process. This lifestyle of fitness makes them tough, healthy, fit and alert. Their bodies are always ready to combat disease and to do away with toxins and waste.
Their purpose is to live long, enjoyable lives.
They do this by focusing on their day to day needs and do not fret about the future. When they fish, they only catch what they need and never over fish.
Almost everything they need in life to survive and live long and healthy lives can be found within ten kilometers of there home. They seldom depend on outside sources and are very independent.
In most of the civilized world, the key to life seems to be accumulating as much as you can while you are on this earth. People go to great lengths to do this. They eventually leave the world far too soon leaving behind all they accumulated. In there quest for the material trappings of life they somehow lost their sense of purpose.
Almost everything in today’s life comes with its own dose of stress.
Are we earning enough money, will we get that next promotion, is our house big enough and are we managing to keep up with everyone around us? All this leads to stress and its this constant stress that goes a long way toward shortening our lifespan.
None of this is important to people living in the Blue Zones of the world. Their focus is on enjoying there simple, basic lives and they are not all concerned about keeping up with anyone.
They don’t need high paying jobs, big houses, or fancy cars in order to live lives full of success and accomplishment.
(4)MODERATE CALORIE INTAKE
There seems to be a common trend among the Blue Zones. Even though they are spread all over the world, they all seem to have the same philosophy when it comes to eating.
They don’t normally eat huge amounts of calories. They eat what they need in order to fuel their bodies for the day ahead. One interesting trait is that most of them adopt the same manner of meal size distribution.
They eat like Kings in the morning Princes in the afternoon, and Paupers at dinner time. In other words, Their biggest meal is breakfast, the second biggest lunch, and the smallest is dinner time.
There are a couple of reasons for this. By eating large meals in the morning and at lunch they are fueling their bodies for the daily work routine. By eating less at night they are putting far less stress on their digestive system and sleep much better than most North Americans who eat there largest meal in the evening.
As their day’s work is done, there is no need to be eating another large meal.
The Seventh-Day Adventists make up most of the population of Loma Linda, California, one of the world’s Blue Zones.
Their diet is actually based on scripture from the bible. The mainstays of there diet are nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, or in other words, a plant-based diet.
Some Seventh-Day Adventists are vegetarian, some are Vegan and some will include some meat, dairy, and fish in their diets. However, if they choose to eat meat, it is either fish, chicken, or lean beef. Pork is considered unclean meat and is not part of there diet.
The Seventh-Day Adventists in the Blue Zone of Loma Linda eat a diet of about 60% fruits and vegetables and just 5% of there diet include chicken, beef, and fish, Meat is always a side dish and never the main course.
The rest of there diet includes 8% nuts and seeds, 12% whole grain, 6% dairy and the rest is spread out between small amounts of eggs, sugar, fats, and salt.
This diet might have a few small changes among the rest of the Blue Zones, but for the most part, most of the Blue Zones follow a similar diet plan. It’s much like the Mediterranean Diet.
They seldom have to deal with diabetes, heart disease and most forms of cancer, diseases that plague most industrialized nations. On average, they will live 10-12 years longer than the world average. Not only do they live longer, but their quality of life is excellent as well.
(6)MODERATE ALCOHOL INTAKE
Studies have shown that small amounts of alcohol each day have several health benefits.
This seems to work well in the areas of the world where people live the longest because they almost all have red wine every day with there meals.
it seems that red wine can play a big factor in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease because of the antioxidants it contains.
(7)SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION
Religion and Spirituality are also quite common in parts of the world where people tend to live the longest.
It seems to me that this could also fall under the heading of Life Purpose.
Being spiritual has a way of making one at peace with the world and in its own way will reduce stress and worry with the knowledge that there is a higher power regardless of what religion is practiced.
(8)ENGAGEMENT IN FAMILY LIFE
Family is very important and goes a long way toward improving the quality of life. It’s always great to have others to lean on for support and advice when needed.
It’s also true that family most certainly will give life more purpose. Adults can pass on what they have learned to younger generations so they too can enjoy a better quality of life as they embark on the journey of life.
(9)ENGAGEMENT IN SOCIAL LIFE
Often North Americans will have big gatherings at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, but why not practice that same tradition the entire year?
Why not have large gatherings of family and friends at any time of the year?
Many seniors in North America live lives of solitude. What a difference it would make to there quality of life if they made the effort to expand their social circle.
Anyone can follow this recipe for quality of life and longevity. We should take a lesson from the people in the Blue Zones and how they get the most out of life.
And it’s very possible for all of us to reduce the amount of stress we deal with, eat smarter and engage more in family and social life.
It would take a conscious decision to make positive changes in one’s life but its well worth it if you improve your quality of life and increase longevity.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.