I’m a big proponent of the idea that “everything we think we know about health is wrong”. It’s a big call. But I stand by it.
I got more proof when I came across this TED presentation from Dan Buettner. Dan was commissioned by the US Government to work out what factors contribute to longevity in Blue Zones (communities around the world where a stack of people live to 100).
Here’s 5 points I liked. They’re not really what we’re used to hearing, are they!
1. No exercise plans.
In lieu of ‘exercise’ these communities were all active and avoided stagnant conveniences and shortcuts in life that promoted laziness.
Running and working out “rusts” the body, ageing it. Walk everywhere you can. Take the stairs. Hand-mix ingredients rather than using a beater.
2. Eat to 80% full.
These Blue Zone communities had little cues – in one case, a mantra recited before eating, like a prayer; in another smaller plates – that reminded them to stop eating well before they’re full. Eating around a table with people serves a similiar purpose – as conversation slows the eating, allowing your brain and stomach more time to communicate.\
3. Have some Ikigai going on
Which roughly translates to “a reason you wake up in the morning”. People with long lives have a sense of purpose.
4. Go slow
Communities that take time to consider and be mindful and regroup and refocus live longer. Period.
4. Pick The Right Friends.
Hello! This was the most crucial factor. We are who we hang around with, was the message.
Pick your tribe carefully. Pick people with all the traits listed above. Active people. People who eat and drink in moderation. People who like vegetables. People who walk and garden. People who take the time to slow down every day.