What would you do with 100 years of life? The Okinawans can give you ideas on how to spend those years. They can even tell you a few secrets on how to live to be 100+ plus years old.
There are more people who live to be over 100 years of age in Okinawa, Japan. More so than anywhere else in the world, so they must be doing something right.
Okinawa is home to one of the world’s longest-living people.
The people living in these regions all have similar things in common.
Read on to discover some of the…
Longevity Secrets of the Longest Living People – the Okinawans
Sense of Purpose
Regardless of age, an Okinawan has a reason to get out of bed every morning. They’re given a strong sense of purpose of being needed by those in their family and community. This makes them feel wanted and important.
Daily tasks are not viewed with dread or feeling of drudgery, the tasks are viewed with a sense of purpose. Whatever needs to be done, be it cooking, gardening, fishing, laundry or other types of menial labor, someone in their family needs them to do it.
Happy, Happy, Happy
Okinawans have less stress compared to most of the populace. Having a positive outlook on life enables them to be happy, even in less-than-stellar life circumstances.
Stress is a precursor for many chronic illnesses and can contribute to premature death. The Okinawa’s are spiritual and grateful people. They view a glass as half full instead of half empty which gives them a feeling of optimism instead of pessimism.
They Eat Less
The Japanese culture has a practice of eating until they are only 80 percent full. This practice is known as Hara Hachi Bu and the Okinawans are faithful to it, no matter what they are eating.
By eating less, they are reducing their daily caloric intake which in turn allows the digestive system to rest and not produce as many free radicals.
Less free radical within the body means a reduced rate risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and many other chronic diseases that plague so many of the population in other parts of the world.
Eating until you’re 80% full is one of the 13 habits linked to a long life.
Better Daily Diets
The regular daily diet of Okinawans not only consists of less food but better food that most people eat. Plant-based foods make up most of the healthy daily diets of Okinawans. Meat is consumed only on special occasions, and fat-laden fast foods are virtually unheard of in this part of the world.
Eating healthier food at a reduced amount produces less free radicals as mentioned previously, but it also promotes heart health.
Lower cholesterol levels and healthy arteries reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, two of the leading causes of death across the world.
Reduced Cancer Risk
The healthy diets and reduced amount of food consumed also reduces the cancer risk in Okinawans. They have much lower rates, especially in breast, ovarian and colon cancers.
Eating healthy fats and fiber-rich foods, in conjunction with fruits and vegetables, reduce the cancer risk by about 50 percent for the people of Okinawa.
The healthy, low-fat diet, combined with plenty of natural vitamin D from sun exposure strengthens the bones of the Okinawan people. They are an active group of people too, and the physical activity strengthens bones.
Strong bones help prevent bone fractures which often precipitate surgery and becoming bed-bound for older people.
Okinawans are active. Not just a few times a week for an hour-long gym visit, but everyday physical activity is the routine. Gardening and walking to and from local destinations.
Most cultures eat and relax while sitting on a chair or sofa, the Okinawans eat and relax while sitting on a tatami mat on the floor. This simple cultural activity of getting up and down from the floor, which they do several times a day, keeps their lower body strong and balance excellent.
One of the most devastating injuries an aged person can suffer is a fall. Having a strong lower body and good balance help prevent falls and all other health issues that would arise from injuries incurred during a fall.
Gardening is another form of physical activity the Okinawan people do almost year around. The exercise provided by gardening increases longevity, as does the fresh vegetables produced by the garden plants.