Okinawa is one of the world’s five “Blue Zones”. The Blue Zones are places on earth where people live longer than usual. That Okinawa is one of them should come as no surprise because Japan has the largest population of senior citizens. In fact, 33 percent of the country’s population is aged 60 and above.
There is no miracle water or food exclusive to Japan. What truly helps the Japanese, particularly those from Okinawa, live long and healthy lives is a collection of good health practices. So, if your goal is to live a long, fruitful, and healthy existence, learn the fundamental lessons of living from the Okinawans. Five of the lessons are discussed below.
The island people of Okinawa are quite different from the Japanese folks in Tokyo and other big cities on the main island. They take great pleasure in keeping a slower pace of life. In fact, they are often taunted for not having the traditional Japanese concept of time, which is quite rigid.
For Okinawans, it is important to enjoy the moment. In the morning, while having breakfast, they take the time to sit down and be with family members. On the way to work, they do not mind stopping to chat with neighbors.
Also, they sleep well. Most island people take a nap during the day as an investment toward their wellbeing. And, they make time to relax. Many head to the beach to eat seafood, have tea and sing. They make sure to provide themselves with these “treats” to stay happy, knowing that their happiness level will help them pull through many of life’s difficult situations.
Living every day with a clear purpose and doing everything you can to achieve this purpose is reinvigorating for the soul. Also, focusing on being productive will provide your life with this sense of continuity, which is greatly helpful during difficult situations.
Likewise, keeping your body, particularly your hands, busy is beneficial to health. The movements of the hands activate the brain and vice-versa. Using your hands often will strengthen your synapses, boost your memory, and also keep you physically in shape, which is similar to how Brain Octane Oil supplements work.
This is the easiest workout that you can incorporate into your day. Walk everywhere – to the store, up and down the stairs, around your neighborhood, or with your dog. This moderately intensive activity has been scientifically proven to lengthen life span, so, dedicate at least 20 minutes of every day to walking.
Okinawans hardly consume white sugar. They prefer small quantities of unrefined sugar, which is healthier. Likewise, they prefer “real food” for snacks instead of pre-packed treats from convenience stores and grocers.
Puffy or popped rice, tofu, and sweet potatoes are their fave snacks. Plus, they gravitate more towards plant-based food and lots of seafood, which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known to help decrease stress hormones and delay aging.
Solid and reliable social connections can do wonders for your health. In the longest study on happiness, which was shared by Robert Waldinger in his TED Talk, it was revealed that good quality relationships are among the forces behind a long and healthy life.
The people in the study who lived to their eighties are generally those who were satisfied with their relationships. This is also proven true by Okinawans who have a tradition called “moai,” which is a social network that spends a lot of time together and helps each other during difficult times.
Good relationships are safety nets for most people. Likewise, they give life this sense of purpose – a motivation to be the best versions of themselves. They help improve memory and the ability to bounce back from illness and even devastating life occurrences.
Those are the five amazing lessons on how to live a long and healthy life from a group of people with a large number of centenarians. None of these lessons are difficult in any way. So, live by them, feel wonderful now and look forward to your golden years with great excitement.
Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.