LIVE LONGER: The Penn State Extension recently shared tips for living a longer and fuller life, based on regions where people tend to live longer and happier lives. These five areas, referred to as blue zones, are areas where living to the age of 100 is not uncommon. These include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece and Loma Linda, Calif. Currently, the average life expectancy worldwide is 78 years old.
For those who live to record a century of life, the following are what those areas have in common:
Natural movement — These areas all share the fact that most people have to walk longer distances to get to work or are involved in strenuous hiking or walking to complete their daily to-do list. For those who aren’t involved in strenuous daily life, it is recommended to complete 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
Purpose — A sense of purpose, a goal for your life and a reason to get out of bed in the morning are all attributes of people who live in Blue Zones, leading to the inference that this purpose helps one live a longer life.
Effective stress management — People in the Blue Zones opt for prayer, remembering loved ones on a daily basis or partaking in a nap at times throughout the day to help address any stress in their lives. Finding effective stress management helps an individual minimize risk of age-related diseases that stem from inflammation.
Eat until you are 80% full — The choice to stop eating when you feel 80% full decreases the chance of consuming too many calories. For those who want to live a longer life, it might be wise to try setting the fork down between bites. Also, pay attention to how full you feel as you eat.
Plant-based diets — The residents of the Blue Zones tend to eat a 95% plant-based diet. This means that focusing on the foods you consume and opting for vegetables, nuts and whole grains may be more beneficial than meat. Rather than the main course, meat is served as a small side in many meals in these zones.