What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “wellness?” We tend to hear responses about physical health such as exercise, nutrition or sleep habits. But, have you ever thought about all nine of the contributing factors to your health? It’s time to broaden your mindset to accept that wellness is not only comprised of fitness, nutrition, and sleeping but full integration of your physical, mental and spiritual being.
When you attend to all of these dimensions on a daily basis, your well-being will increase while your stress decreases. The people of Okinawa Japan, Sardinia Greece, Ikaria Greece, Nicoya Costa Rica and Loma Linda California understand this well and have found that living a stress-free and healthy lifestyle leads to longevity.
These 5 places are believed to be the healthiest places in the world also known as Blue Zones. How do we know that?
These are the longest-lived cultures with the highest population of people living over 100 years old. Not only are most of the community living to be over 100, but in a healthy and happy way. These centenarians are not bedridden, do not have a chronic disease, not suffering from dementia and dying of purely old age.
Wouldn’t you like to be 95 and still harvesting your vegetable garden? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good life to me. How is this possible?
Hard to believe when in the United States we are expected to live until we are 75 years old. These cultures are living 25 years longer than we are. Not fair.
In 2018, I had the opportunity to study abroad to Ikaria, Greece. With Public Health and Occupational Therapists students from GVSU. For two weeks, we lived how Ikarians lived, harvesting our own food, learning to cook from locals, danced the night away at parties, made our own soap, tasted local honey, and relaxed the way Ikarians relaxed! We practiced all nine of these characteristics to truly understand the secret to longevity. We refer to these as The Power Of Nine. . .
-Move Naturally: Live in an environment in which you are consistently nudged to move, without even thinking about it, walking to work, gardening, walking the dog..
-80% Rule: Eat till you are 80% full, then stop… no really just stop
-Plant Slant: Beans and lentils are the cornerstones of most centenarian diets. Add more veggies to your diet.
-Purpose: Those who live their purpose in life are happier and healthier
-Family: Put your family before yourself and cherish those moments (does not have to blood related)
-Wine @5: People in Blue Zones drink alcohol moderately and regularly, the trick it to drink 1-2 glass per day with friends and family.
-Belong: Most of the centenarian belong to some type of faith-based community
-Loved One’s First: Put your family first
-Right Tribe: surround yourself with people who matter and support each other
Now you know the secrets and I challenge you to add these steps into your daily life and then report back to me when you are 100 and still able to harvest your vegetables.