We all want to live a long life & along with youthfulness free of diseases. As you know most us are caught up in the day-to-day routine and do not realize that old age has set in.
We cannot avoid old age but we can definitely reduce the impact of old age. By making certain changes in our lifestyle inspired from people who live in Blue Zones. The lifestyle followed by the people in Blue Zones make them less dependent on medicines & hospitals and at the same time more involved with our family, friends & activities that they love to do.
Around the world, many pockets are identified as Blue Zones where individuals live beyond the age of 90 or even 100 (centenarians). These centenarians are involved in day-to-day activities, less dependent on modern medicines or facilities. Blue Zones are spread across the globe with places like Okinawa – Japan, Sardinia – Italy, Loma Linda – California, Nicoya Peninsula- Costa Rica & Ikaria-Greece. Here many men & women both lived for 100 years & above. People in Blue Zones don`t just survive but also are living there life to the fullest
Longevity expert Dan Buettner has collected all his experiences of traveling across these Blue Zones and collected a lot of data with help many researchers to come up with scientific reasons why these people live such a long n fulfilling life well over the age of 90 or even 100. All the collected experiences and a personal guideline on how we can integrate longevity secrets for our own self in a book called “The Blue Zones”.
I am outlining few guidelines from the book here for quick reference that you can include in your life.
What the book recommends is you can visit www.bluezones.com. There you will find the Vitality Compass, a tool that asks you questions and based on your answers calculates your longevity parameters.
Move Naturally: Be active without having to think about it.
Moving does not mean we have to run marathons or be a weekend warrior on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Engage in regular low-intensity physical activities often as part of daily work routine. Household work, gardening, nature walks, aerobic & yogic exercises. As per research, a moderate level of exercise that is sustained over a period of time becomes quite helpful in the long run. It is recommended that around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week, so that we can be healthy for life. Be a miler, not a sprinter!
Hara Hachi Bu: Painlessly cut calories by 20 percent
Okinawan elders reminds us to stop eating when the stomach is 80% full by using the above Confucian adage. I am full and I am no longer hungry are two different things. When your hunger satiates that is when you should stop eating a meal and not when your stomach is full. This also helps you to keep your weight in check. We should not wait for our stomach to get full. Using a small plate and tall narrow glasses you are likely to eat less without even thinking about it.
Plant Slant: Avoid meat & processed foods.
Most people of the blue zones were never consistent meat eaters, processed foods, soda, salty snacks. Eating Meat at very long intervals like monthly or yearly affair has been observed in most people of Blue Zones. To avoid many diseases skip red meat and processed meat like bacon. In plant based foods have Beans, Whole grains, Nuts, Tofu, Fiber-rich vegetables, Fruits, etc.
Grapes of Life: Drink red wine (in moderation)
Drinking moderate wine helps to keep heart diseases at bay. Avoid binge drinking of alcohol, maybe one drink a day will give you benefits. Too much of alcohol will cause liver damage & even certain types of cancers
Purpose Now: Ikigai. Take time to see the big picture.
Why I wake up in the morning. One should have a strong sense of purpose that helps to keep stress at bay and reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s, arthritis & Stroke. Learning a musical instrument or learning a new language exercises your brain. Have a personal mission statement.
We can integrate few of these habits provided here in our daily routine. Some more are mentioned in the book with detailed explanation for every point. I highly recommend you buy the book “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner to get complete insights on how to live a long and fulfilling life.