Health experts have analysed “blue zones” around the world and come up with two main factors that increase our longevity – having a healthy lifestyle and a reason to live.
According to news.com.au, led by American researcher Dan Buettner, these “blue zones” were analysed by a team of specialists, including doctors, anthropologists, demographers, nutritionists and epidemiologists, to see why their residents seemed to live longer .
The researchers identified nine key factors to longevity:
* Intense and regular physical activity while undertaking daily duties. These people do not live a sedentary lifestyle.
* Reduction of stress, which can involve taking time out for regular habits such as taking a nap (in Mediterranean societies), praying or conducting a tea ceremony (as in Japan).
* “Hara hachi bu” – a Confucian teaching that suggests we only eat until we are 80% full.
* Having an “ikigai” – a Japanese word used to define the “reasons for being” and why we get out of bed every morning.
* Prioritising a diet that is rich in plant-based products. Meat, fish and dairy products are consumed in lower amounts.
* Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages.
* Being part of social groups that promote healthy habits.
* Interacting with religious communities.
* Building and maintaining solid relationships with family.