Aging does not have to suffocate your quality of life. In fact, there are places in the world where the residents are known to live far longer than anywhere else. This article provides an overview of how an active, healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of aging, and elongate your quality of life.
Defying the Effects of Aging
The negative effects of aging can be, in part, thwarted. In fact, researchers from National Geographic affirm that there are specific communities on the planet where the population has an abnormally high life quality and longevity expectancy. By studying the lifestyles of these communities, you can adapt your lifestyle to minimize the effects of aging.
Where on Earth has the Best Aging Populations?
National Geographic researchers set out to find, what they coined, as Blue Zones. Blue Zones, are the places on earth with more centenarians than anywhere else.
In Sardinia, in the Barbagia region, live the highest number of male centenarians anywhere on earth. Why do men live longer in this mountainous region of Italy?
Most men who live in these mountains are sheep herders. They spend the first half of the day walking up a slightly inclined hillside, and the second half of the day walking back down. They eat a Mediterranean diet, low in cholesterol and high in phytonutrients.
The Aegean island of Ikaria, Greece, is home to the lowest rate of mortality among middle-aged men. It is also the place on earth where dementia is least common.
The same applies, for the Nicoya Peninsula, in Costa Rica. In North America, Loma Linda, California is home to the Seventh Day Adventists, who appears to live up to ten years longer, on average, than the rest of the country.
And, in Okinawa, Japan, women that are over the age of 70 make up the highest life longevity rate anywhere on earth. So, what is the secret?
How to Age Well
If you want to live with more ability, joy, and longevity, follow these lifestyle tips from the Blue Zones Project.
Moving naturally is the biggest aspect of keeping your body healthy into older age. Those that live the longest are people that spend large amounts of every day in low-impact natural movement.
Take a long walk up a small hill. The key is not to exhaust yourself, at all. Your body wants to move, so let it. Garden, hike, bike, or just simply walk. Adopt a life rhythm that incorporates movement as the hallmark.
Sense of Purpose
When you rise in the morning, what is your purpose? You can extend your lifespan an average of seven years if you find a reason and joy for waking. It can be to teach, to love, to laugh, to learn and, hopefully, all of these.
Take it Easy
Stress is the leading cause of chronic inflammation in old age. Inflammation accounts for the vast majority of diseases and physical ailments experienced in your elder years. The most effective way to mitigate stress is to meditate, pray, nap, or have an afternoon drink in the sunshine.
If you suffer from chronic inflammation, consider CBD treatments for decreasing stress and physical information.
Stop Eating Before Full
Eating until you’re stuffed is an unhealthy first-world luxury. If you continue to practice this habit into your elder age, you will cause serious detriment to your body. The rule is, eat until you are 80 percent full.
Eat Less Meat-A Lot Less
You should buff up how much plant matter you eat at each meal, and reduce the animal proteins. Instead of meat at every meal, switch to beans, like fava, soy, and lentil. Meat, like pork, chicken, or lamb, is a special treat that you should only eat four to five times a month.
Wine is Fine
The people on earth that live the longest share a commonality of one to two glasses of red wine per day. Studies from the National Institute of Health show that moderate wine drinkers outlive non-drinkers, on average. Do not drink to excess, though, or you undo your longevity work.
An important aspect of aging well is to find your community. Whether it is a religious community, or otherwise, you need to explore the questions on your heart with a trusted and safe community. This element of your aging life can account for up to 14 years of added longevity.
Keep Family Close to Home
The most important thing in life is family. In old age, independence is contingent on purpose. Grandparents that live at home, with their grandchildren, live for years beyond those that do not.
The Blue Zone Project finds that family ties are one of the biggest factors in the extension of your life’s longevity.
Even if you are in assisted living, your home can be welcoming to family and friends.
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