The Blue Zones are locations on the planet that live the longest, healthiest lives. The people who inhabit the Blue Zones have common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their long lives– the blue zones are in cities in Italy, Japan (some of the longest living people in the world), California, Costa Rica and Greece. One of the traits they all have in common is a sense of community and balance. Let’s take these observations about these long living people and try to really learn from them.
- Family – put ahead of other concerns
- Less smoking
- Semi-vegetarianism – except for the Sardinian diet, the majority of food consumed is derived from plants
- Legumes – commonly consumed
- Moderate calorie and moderate alcohol intake, especially wine
- Constant moderate physical activity – an inseparable part of life
- Social engagement – people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities
- A sense of life purpose
- Engagement in spirituality or religion
- Engage ourselves with our family and friends, IRL (in real life). Call them. Visit them. Make making plans to catch up with good friends or family a priority.
- Stop smoking. There’s really nothing more to say about this. I’m surprised that we still see so many people smoking in this day and age, haha.
- Go meatless, on more days than just Monday. Challenge yourself and eat a meatless breakfast, lunch or dinner for a full week straight. It’s a lot easier and tastier than it probably seems!
- Learn to love legumes.
- Embrace your inner intuitive eater.
- Glass of red wine here and there does the body good. And the soul.
- Put the phone/laptop/iPad down and actually engage with people.
- Explore your spirituality. If you’re not particularly religious, look into mindfulness. It’s a Buddhist concept, but you don’t have to be Buddhist to practice mindfulness.
- Buy a pedometer or use an app on your phone, try to hit 5,000 steps every day (that’s 2.5 miles!).
- Choose physical activity that you actually enjoy. Don’t force yourself to run if you hate running. Don’t make yourself do yoga if you can’t stand yoga. Find the activity that truly brings you joy.
- Make your life easy by meal planning. The goal is to prevent yourself from ending up in a food emergency in which the only thing open is a fast-food restaurant or convenience store.
- Make grocery shopping a ritual. Heck, turn it into a peaceful mindfulness practice.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Your bedroom should be a peaceful, stress free environment that promotes rest. What do you need to do to make it more peaceful? Maybe it’s clearing clutter, getting blackout shades, an eye mask, or taking the television out of the bedroom.
- Self care is essential. What are three things you can incorporate into your life that will help with relaxation? Maybe it’s taking a bath, doing your nails, reading a peaceful book.
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