Today is #WorldHealthDay and when we think about our own health do you think about in terms of diet and exercise?
Health is about so much more than what you put on your plate and more a state of overall wellness that incorporates our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Did you know that only 20% of how long someone lives is dictated by their genes? The other 80% is lifestyle and environment.
The @bluezones conducted a study looking at the 5 areas in the world where people lived the longest to see what the secrets of longevity were. The 5 areas of the world they identified were Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece, and Loma Linda in California.
They came up with 9 takeaway objectives for living a longer life and if the average middle-aged person adopted just 6 of these it’s worth an extra 5/6 years of life expectancy!
Yes, diet naturally plays a part; the study found a mainly plant based diet rich in fruit, veg, pulses and nuts with occasional meat was common. Some adopted methods of eating their biggest meal in the morning and lighter meals at night and the common rule was only eating until you are 80% full.
Activity was key but didn’t have to be in a gym - natural movement like walking, gardening and physical labour. The centurions in Sardinia for example were still chopping wood and riding their mopeds daily!
But the other factors may surprise you...
✨Connection - investing in relationships, putting loved ones first. Think about your friendship group. Are you surrounded by like-minded people who raise you up?
✨Having a sense of purpose and the right outlook - be it meditation, prayer, our reason for being here and what we give back to the world.
✨Happiness not loneliness. The happiest people live 20% longer than the saddest - so feeling happy and positive is really key! Loneliness doesn’t just affect the elderly it affects the young. People who live in blue zones are part of communities, sometimes religious ones but committed to their family, investing in ageing parents, spousal relationships and being part of a wider social group.
You can find out more from @bluezones but for now look at how your health stacks up in comparison - could you invest in any of these practices more?
Happy World Health day 🌎 ❤️