Blue Zones are parts of the world where people live healthy, plentiful lives well into their 100 years. The people in these Blue Zones generally live balanced, slower pace lifestyles and value human connection over status and money. We can take these lessons and try to live healthier lives. Here are a few tips from the Blue Zones:
1. Incorporate Exercise into Daily Life: Exercise does not have to happen at the gym or on a machine. We can find many ways to get active and incorporate it into our busy lives. Try walking to work or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Also try to find things you enjoy doing, so it does feel like a chore. Get out and play tennis, complete that weeding project or go on a hike with the dog. You also don’t need to exercise for hours on end. New research shows that having smaller bouts of exercise over the entire week can be just as helpful in living a healthy life.
2. Eat More Vegetables, Less Meat: This one is pretty simple. By following a more plant based diet (eating vegetable, legumes and nuts) are bodies are fueled more efficiently, with less bad fat, and fewer calories. We also can absorb more vitamins and minerals naturally by eating a more plant based diet, rather than supplementing with pills. We do not have to completely eliminate meat, but make sure to limit the consumption of red meat and focus on organic products. Also, we do not need meat or protein at every meal. Focus on getting protein in one meal each day.
3. Be One with Nature: Getting out of the city, away from cars and concrete can be a great way to help eliminate stress. Additionally, when out in nature such as a forest or lake, the air and environment is generally cleaner and better to breath. Focusing on the sounds of nature can also be a form of meditation, which can help reduce stress, decrease blood pressure and allow for better sleeping habits. When was the last time you sat and listened to the birds, heard the wind through the trees or looked up at the stars?
4. Find Time to Rest and Recover: The importance of sleep is not emphasized enough in our culture. Getting enough good sleep helps our bodies heal, our joints unwind and our minds recover. Additionally, when we take a slower approach to life, by saying no to some social commitments, we find that we have more time to focus and enjoy the things we love most. We have to learn to let go of the fear of missing out, and focus on what makes up most happy.
For more tips on Blue Zone Living and Lifestyle Medicine Approaches, visit our website at www.saramikulsky.com