So one suggestions for my blog was;
How do we as women keep fit and fit in all of the other things that we need to do: sleep, social time, work, good food, etc. How does stress affect our health and what do we do about it beyond quitting our jobs?
Also, for young women, what are good practices to get into to keep healthy for the future: what should a daily routine include, etc?
There is a ton of research out there that talks about what it takes to get healthy, beautiful and fit. The information is overwhelming. Wouldn’t you agree? So instead of getting lost in the whirl of information, let’s break it down to simple lessons we can learn from Men and Women all over the Globe. They do not eat the same foods, they don’t all meditate, they don’t all eat acai berries or chia seeds. Yet healthy, fit, happy, people are scattered all over this beautiful planet. So where are these people and what are they doing and can we do it? Yes, you can, read on…
These healthy people reside in what has been coined, Blue Zones. They are places in the world where people are consistently living to be 100 years old! They are healthy, happy, and fit! They have 9 commonalities that have been discovered. By striving to incorporate these 9 Lessons from The Blue Zones I do believe that we as women, as Americans, as people, we can keep fit, healthy, and beautiful, and maybe even live to be 100 too!
This Picture is directly from the Blue Zones Website.
Warning! This is more than just what to eat. If you are not ready to hear this then I suggest you bookmark this article and go back to it when you are ready to make health a lifestyle and not just a goal each week.
1. Eat mostly vegetables
Costa Ricans spend 15% of what Americans spend on health care! Their diets are mainly corn, beans, and fresh fruit and vegetables. The diets of the other 4 countries are all similar in that they all are centered around fresh vegetables and legumes. Eat quality meats when you eat them. Animals raised on farms not raised in cages and crates.
2. 80% Rule
In Okinawa, people say “Hara Hachi Bu”. This saying means that you eat until you are 80% percent full. By practicing this rule, you will save your life and your waistline. You can also switch to smaller plates. This will help you to decrease your portions.
3. Sleep and Relaxation
In Greece, Ikarians are excellent nappers, they open shops late, nap in the early afternoon, and then socialize into the night with close family, friends and local festivals.
4. Take lots of time for family and friends
Those who live to be centenarians are taken care of by their loved ones. People of Blue Zones put their families first. So if we can take time to appreciate, spend time and take care of our families, we will all be better off.
5. Drink lots of water and a little wine
One glass of wine for women and two glasses for men. According the the Blue Zones and other research, wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and slow the progression of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. But check out my article on alcohol and weight loss to make sure that you are sticking to the one glass rule.
6. Make fitness a lifestyle not a monthly goal
Sardinia, Italy is famous for it’s farmers and shepherds, who gain cardio and musculoskeletal benefits from walking up to five miles every day! In Okinawa, they tend to amazing gardens. Think of ways to make natural movement a part of your day. Every day!
7. Know why you wake up every morning
According to the Blue Zones, the Okinawans call it “ikigai” and the Costa Rican Nicoyans call it “plan de vida”—for both, it translates to “why I wake up in the morning.” Do you know why?
8. You are who you hang out with.
Find a group of friends who share your goals, who are willing to help you out when you need it. Need I say more? In Greece they have tight communities that get together and socialize often and in Okinawa they create groups call “moai” that are usually five people who band together for life.
9. Have Faith
All but 5 of the 263 blue zones interviewees belonged to some sort of faith based community. Having some sort of faith and belonging to some sort of faith based community seems to play a role in our health. I would imagine it ties into knowing our purpose for living, and lessons from wise historians and sharing with people who also want to live a more fulfilling life.
This Thanksgiving let’s make it a priority to be thankful for the amazing bodies that we have. Sit down and look at how you are treating yourself. Write down ways in which you can be more proactive about your health. Think about your health as more than just what you eat. It’s about love, rest, movement, de-stressing, and then drinking a little wine! When you take care of your self, everyone else around will benefit as well. Because let’s face it, you are; more fun to be around, more productive, more energetic, less forgetful, look better, sleep better, when you take care of yourself from the inside out! Happy Thanksgiving!