What does living a healthy life look like to you? Perhaps you are part of the billions that are spent every year on the quest to live a healthy life? From supplements, exercise, meditation and yoga to more radical measures such as surgery, strict diets and the next wonder drug. Are you on the lookout for the next quick fix or magic pill? Moreover, despite this, Australians are becoming unhealthier. Diabetes, heart disease and cancers are occurring at a younger age. Furthermore, we are busy and our lifestyles are not always healthy. So how can we cut through all of this and find simpler ways to live a healthy life?
Luckily, science and research have given us a helping hand. The good news is, genes account for only 20 per cent of a person’s lifespan. Lifestyle and environment make up the other 80 per cent. So, let’s explore these last two areas for some real truths about how to live a healthy life.
Regions of the World Where People Live Longer and a Healthy Life
Dan Buettner, Founder and CEO of Blue Zones, teamed up with National Geographic and the world’s longevity researchers to dig deeper. They were looking at areas in the world where people live measurably better, longer, healthier lives. The findings reveal five regions of the world where there are the greatest number of people over 100 years old. These areas include:
- Ikaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California
- Okinawa, Japan
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
- Barbagia region in Sardinia
All these places have a few common elements. So, let’s have an in depth look at the island of Ikaria in Greece where they are four times more likely to reach 90 years of age than their American counterparts. Furthermore, research reveals several common denominators for this longer life expectancy. Moreover, many of them, as you will discover have become rituals and key habits.
The study reveals the secrets to living a healthy life are:
- Ample sleep. Ikarians tend to wake up late and take naps during the day.
- They don’t worry about wearing watches.
- Ikaria is an “us” place, not a “me” place. Community is very important.
- Dried herbs are used daily. Many have medicinal properties and strong antioxidant properties. Furthermore, some are diuretic, which helps reduce blood pressure.
- Honey is used frequently. From treating wounds, relieving flu symptoms or hangovers. Moreover, many Ikarians take a spoonful every morning to maintain a healthy life.
Daily routines and healthy habits are important
- Athletes know the importance of daily routines and habits. Sticking to tasks consistently is a key trait of a champion mindset. Ikarians naturally have daily routines.
- Waking naturally, working in the garden, enjoying a late lunch, having a nap, visiting neighbours or having guests over are a few of the key daily routines.
- The Ikarians diet is simple. It includes goat’s milk, sage, beans, greens like fennel, dandelion and seasonal vegetables. Furthermore, the abundance of green homegrown vegetables with no pesticides means their food is naturally nutrient-rich. Moreover, they eat larded pork in small quantities for a short time each year.
- Olive oil is the frequent staple and local goats milk is the main choice for dairy.
- Moderate levels of alcohol while socialising and having fun with others are the norm.
Laughter and connection are critical
- Laughter, gossip and wine and sleep and sex are important! Social activities, dancing and fun with families and friends are encouraged. Furthermore, sitting on the couch alone at night is not acceptable!
- Many Ikarians have access to a family garden and livestock and the island has a history of self-sufficiency.
- Lunch is always taken as a real lunch break. This means people take time to enjoy connecting with other people while they eat.
- Due to the steep terrain of Ikaria, hill walking is a daily habit. Consequently, keeping fit is literally a way of life.
- With a solid community spirit, an Ecosystem conducive to healthy nutrient-rich foods and sensible alcohol intake, you have key ingredients for living a healthy life. Furthermore, embracing this type of attitude ensures you have a positive attitude and your mindset is set for success.
Now you have some key ingredients for a healthy life, which ones can you sprinkle more of into your life? With our technologically driven era, connecting with people more often is critical. Moreover, connection is a fundamental human need, so unplug more often from your gadgets and seek our real and meaningful conversations and connections. Furthermore, develop a key habit of moving your body daily and fuel your body with healthy food. Enjoy a drink in moderation and learn ways to manage your stress, and you are on the path to great health. Finally, when you have purpose and meaning to your life, you are programming your subconscious mind for health, happiness and longevity.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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