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In the United States, the average person lives to be around 78 years old. But people regularly celebrate their 100th birthday in five places. These areas where people live longest and healthiest are known as the Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
What makes people so healthy in these regions? The researchers found that all of the Blue Zones share nine lifestyle habits that improve mental and physical fitness. Here’s What You Should Know About Each:
For health reasons, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym. People in the Blue Zones stay active by choosing to walk through the driveway, do gardening, and get more exercise throughout the day. That’s because low-intensity movements burn more calories overall than the hour you spend in the gym. Instead of rushing to walk just one more mile, think about how you can increase activity by skipping the elevator or going to the market.
Have a purpose
Having a clear reason to get you out of bed and do your best will extend your lifespan, according to the Blue Zones project. In fact, a sense of purpose can add up to seven years to your life.
And you don’t have to make sense of big goals – like becoming the CEO of your company, for example. You can find meaning by doing little things, such as: B. Do well on a work project or find a creative approach NPR.
Coping with stress
People in Blue Zones are not without stress, which over time can lead to inflammation, high blood pressure, and possibly heart attacks. However, people in these areas have found ways to deal with their stress. For example, Okinawans take time each day to remember their ancestors, and Sardinians regularly attend happy hour, according to the Blue Zones Project.
Running, meditating, or tackling a DIY project is an easy way to relieve stress.
Don’t eat until you’re full
Instead, only eat until you are 80 percent satisfied. This is what the Blue Zones project calls the 80 percent rule. Citizens in the Blue Zones have their smallest meals during the day or early evening and avoid grazing at night. These small changes can help you avoid weight gain.
Eat less meat
The people in the Blue Zones eat mainly fruits, vegetables and legumes on a vegetable basis. Instead of relying on animal protein sources, this group eats loads of beans that contain protein and fiber. For example, one cup of canned chickpeas contains 18 grams of protein, which contains the amino acids necessary for muscle growth.
Enjoy alcohol in moderation
There is a lot of confusion about whether or not alcohol is actually good for us. Some studies say drinking wine is good for your heart, while other studies associate any drinking with a shorter expectation.
Research in Blue Zones shows that people regularly drink alcohol in moderate amounts. Instead of drinking six beers on Saturday, people usually drink one to two drinks a day.
Belong to a community
Overwhelming, centenarians are part of a religious community. In fact, only five of the 263 centenarians surveyed by the Blue Zones project did not belong to any particular community. However, this does not mean that you have to go to church. Instead, you can find your own community through hobby groups, close friends, and family.
Prioritize family time
Family is important to centenarians in the Blue Zones. It is common to live near older parents or to bring them into your home. Adults also commit to a partner and spend a lot of time with their children.
Have a healthy social network
People who lived the longest surrounded themselves with others who were practicing healthy habits, according to the Blue Zones Project. Research from the Framingham Studies, which looked at risk of heart disease, shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness can be contagious.
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