Aging very old and happy is one of our main concerns as a human being! In some regions of the world, the inhabitants live older than elsewhere and seem happier. What are their longevity secrets? We investigated.
The “blue zones”, those regions of the world where centenarians are legion
Did you know that there are regions where the number of centenarians is much higher than in the rest of the World?
Called “blue areas”, These regions can be counted on the fingers of one hand! There are indeed 5 zones, spread over different continents:
- In Sardinia, in the region of Barbagia;
- In Greece, on the island of Ikaria;
- In Costa Rica, on the Nicoya Peninsula;
- In Japan, on the island of Okinawa;
- In the USA, in Loma Linda in California.
But what do these different areas have in common, where life seems sweeter than elsewhere and where life expectancy is exceptional? Some researchers have looked into the subject and have identified 4 pillars, “Secrets” of longevity. We share them with you!
The 4 secrets of longevity to integrate into your life to live longer
Regular physical activity
You are not taught anything, one of the secrets for to live longer et live healthier is the practice of regular physical activity to maintain both body and mind.
But in the blue zones, no gym or gym class! The locals have adopted a way of life, sometimes inherited from their ancestors and perpetuated which gives pride of place to a physical activity that could be described as “natural”. Cultivation of the land, maintenance of the garden, walking to work or to visit their friends are thus part of the daily life habits of the inhabitants of the blue zones.
But how can this principle be transposed into our western way of life, where the distances are sometimes very great and our places of life urbanized to the extreme?
Quite simply by adopting a few simple reflexes: forgetting how easy it is to take your car for short trips and opting for the bicycle, getting off one or two metro stations before our point of arrival or getting up from your office regularly can be part of the tricks that we can put in place to move without realizing it.
Healthy eating: one of the most powerful longevity secrets
Take a few moments to remember what you have eaten in recent days: an industrial sandwich for your lunch break, a frozen dish last night for lack of time or convenience?
In our current way of life, everything is in fact done to save us time. This is done at the expense of a raw, healthy and good diet for our body, with all the essential nutrients that our body needs to function optimally.
In the blue zones, the environment where the inhabitants live plays a lot in their diet which seems more balanced: they live indeed by the sea, with a Mediterranean type diet rich in seafood, omega-3 fatty acids and fruits and vegetables, most often produced locally. These foods contain a high amount of antioxidants, which slow down the formation of free radicals responsible for aging and certain chronic diseases.
To transpose this “living” diet here, we can choose to consume better: by opting for organic food, produced locally, or by taking advantage of more and more initiatives such as shared gardens or the adoption of 'an indoor vegetable patch.
Limit stress and promote contact with nature
Stress is one of the most common disorders encountered by French people and Westerners in general. Unrestrained pace of life, race for productivity and professional and family responsibilities ... we generally live our lives at 100 an hour without taking the time. Time to slow down, to go see this friend that we haven't seen for a long time, or just to go out for a few minutes to walk in this park which is 5 minutes from our place of residence.
In the blue zones, the inhabitants live against our rhythm: they free themselves from the time constraint, ignore punctuality and are fans of naps!
In practice, we can take inspiration from them to rediscover the pleasure of taking time for us, especially in the evenings and on weekends. Forget the agendas, the race against the clock to just enjoy our environment, our surroundings and do pleasant activities that will naturally release us from stress.
Develop social ties to age well
Dernier longevity secret centenarians who live in the blue zones: social ties!
The latter are indeed at the heart of the lifestyle adopted by the inhabitants. This is very much linked to the family composition of the inhabitants. In Nicoya, Costa Rica, it is not uncommon for the elderly to live with their children and grandchildren under the same roof! In Japan, the development of social ties also represents one of the main motivations of the inhabitants to continue living serenely and happily. Taken by time and by our own problems, we forget the others: yet, the social bond is one of the pillars of happiness!
Telephoning a lost friend, having lunch with a co-worker or visiting our elders more often can then allow us to find this connection.
What are the longevity secrets What will you take away from this article?
Do not hesitate to let us know your feelings in the comments!