Hello Friends!

Here’s the second and final video in the series on “The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons For Living Longer” By: Dan Buettner

This week’s blog is all about the 9 lessons for living longer and how you can apply them to your own lives.

9 Lessons for living longer
Lesson 1 Move naturally: 
be active without having to think about it.
  • Make life slightly more inconvenient. Park further away or get rid of your tv remote control.
  • Have fun moving! Do things you like to do and make your lifestyle active. If you don’t like going to the gym, don’t go. If it’s a chore, you’re not gonna do it.
  • WALK! It’s great on your joints and if you walk briskly, it may have the same cardiovascular benefits as running, but not only that, it’s a big stress- relief.
  • Get Social: Make exercising a social thing. Make dates and stick to them
  • Do yoga! It can also help benefit your spiritual side as well.
Lesson 2 Don’t stuff Yourself!
As they say in Okinawa, Hara Hachi Bu. Meaning eat until you’re 80% full.
  • Make food look bigger. Add lettuce and other veggies to your sandwiches and or hamburgers in order to make it look bigger without packing on the calories. Another way would be to add ice to your smoothie. Those who drink smoothies whipped up to twice the volume with the same calories have reported to feel fuller.
  • Eat more slowly. Eating faster usually results in eating more. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full. So slowing down gives us time to react to cues telling us that we’re no longer hungry.
  • Eat Early. In the Blue Zones, the biggest meal of the day is typically eaten before the first half of the day. So by eating a more fulfilling lunch and dinner, you are more likely to have fewer cravings for sugary or fatty foods later in the day.
Lesson 3: Eat Your Veggies
Avoid meat and processed foods. Studies have shown that those who restrict their meat intake are associated with living longer.
  • Eat 4-6 servings of vegetables each day. Not only are they high in nutrients, micro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but they are also high in fiber and help you feel full faster.
  • Limit your meat intake: No need to eliminate meat from your diet if you don’t want to. But try limiting it to three to two times a week instead of two to three times a day.
  • Showcase Fruits and Veggies: Place a beautiful fruit bowl on your counter or on your desk at work. This will encourage you to eat fruit before processed snacks.
  • Lead with Beans: Make beans or tofu and the legumes the centerpiece of lunches or dinner.
  • Snack on nuts and seeds: Which nut or seed you ask? It doesn’t matter, just as long as you’re eating them.
Lesson 4: Drink Red Wine
In moderation and in the company of friends. Red wine offers an extra bonus in that it contains
  • Buy a case of high quality wine. A good red wine is much better than a cheap one.
  • Treat yourself to “Happy Hour” with family and friends and a glass of wine and nuts to snack on.
  • Take it easy: A serving a day is more than you need to reap the benefits. Overdoing it negates any benefits you might enjoy. So drink in moderation.
Lesson 5: Have Purpose
Take time to see the big picture. Or in other words, know why you wake up in the morning.
  • Craft a personal mission statement. Articulating a personal mission statement is a good way for you to find your purpose. Simply ask yourself: Why do I wake up in the morning? And write it down. Consider what your passionate about, your talents and what is important to you.
  • Find a partner. Find someone whom you can communicate your life purpose along with a plan for realizing it.
  • Learn something new. Take up a musical instrument or learn a new language. Both activities are among the most powerful things you can do to preserve your mental sharpness.
Lesson 6: Downshift
Take time to relieve stress.
  • Reduce the noise. Turn off the tv, radio and internet and find a quiet space to relax and breathe. Most electronic equipment entertainment just feeds mind chatter and is counter productive in the notion of slowing down.
  • Be early. Arriving 15 minutes early prior to every appointment helps minimize stress that arrises from traffic, getting lost, or underestimating travel time.
  • Meditate. Create a  space in your home that is quiet and comfortable and establish a daily meditation schedule. Start with 10 minutes a day and work up to 30. And don’t stress out if you miss one. Simply catch up later in the day.
Lesson 7: Belong
Participate in a spiritual community
  • Be more involved. If you already belong to a religious community, take a more active role in the organization.
  • Explore a new tradition. If you don’t have a particular religious faith, maybe commit to trying a new faith community such as Unitarian Universalism, Buddhism, and the American Ethical Union.
  • Just go. Go with an open mind and you may find that your well being may be enhanced.
Lesson 8: Loved Ones First
Make family a priority.
  • Establish family rituals. Children thrive on rituals; they enjoy repetition. Make one family meal sacred. Have dinner with grandma every Tuesday night. And make a point to purposefully celebrate holidays.
  • Create a family shrine. Make a picture wall of your family and display photos of deceased loved ones as well. It creates a constant reminder that we are not an Island to our times, but connected to something bigger.
  • Put family first. Invest time and energy into spending time and playing with your children, your spouse and your parents.
Lesson 9: Right Tribe
Be surrounded by those who share healthy values.
  • Identify your inner circle. Know the people who reinforce the right habits, people who understand and live by your life health goals and make healthy living a priority. Go through your address book and think about which ones support healthy habits and challenge you mentally, and which ones you can truly rely on in times of need.
  • Be Likable. Or in other words, don’t be a grump! Likable old people are more likely to have a social network and frequent visitors. They seem to experience less stress and live purposeful lives.
  • Create time together. Spend at least 30 minutes a day with members of your inner circle. Establish a regular time to meet and share a meal together, take a walk, or have a cup of tea. Building strong friendships requires effort, but it’s an investment that can pay back handsomely in added years.

 

Which of these tips did you find to be most helpful? What do you already do?

Comment below!