Secrets to Longevity: Part II
Welcome to Part II in our blog posts about Secrets to Longevity. This week we're talking about the six common lifestyle characteristics shared by those dwelling in “longevity hotspots”. It's VITAL information—quite literally! We're also challenging YOU to get started on your journey of longevity!
The people dwelling in the geographic regions of Okinawa, Sardinia, Nicoya, Icaria and Loma Linda, otherwise knows as the “Blue Zones” or “longevity hotspots” are shown to share six common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity:
- Family placed ahead of other concerns
- Less smoking
- Semi-Vegetarianism / Plant-Based Diets
- Constant Moderate Physical Activity
- Social Engagement
- Legumes are a staple in the diet
Sounds fairly simple and straightforward yet in honest reflection many of us would struggle to integrate even 50% of these characteristics into our lives on a daily basis.
Here is the thing with longevity…it is a marathon, not a sprint. In our current culture, the popular mentalities of “no pain no gain”, “the faster the better” and other guiding philosophies such as these create an atmosphere where we are constantly living in a state of time deprivation and solely driven by instantaneous results. Hello fad diets, extreme exercise programs and sometimes even prescription drugs – our culture in many ways could not be further out of touch with the concept of longevity.
Now for the good news: Very few if any of these six essential lifestyle characteristics are at their very nature “complicated” or difficult to access. So let’s not overcomplicate the matter….and get started right away.
Here is your challenge for this week…
Can you introduce at least two of these three suggestions this week to begin working towards placing family ahead of other concerns?
Begin by dedicating just one half-day per week to spending quality time with family. Assuming we sleep on average 8-hours per night, that leaves us with approximately 16 waking hours each day. Can you dedicate just 8-hours, one day per week to this mission? That is only 7% of your total waking hours each week!
How do you define “quality time”? Sure we spend “time” with friends and family….yet how much of that time is spent free of technology such as iPhones, computers and TV’s? Can we truly “connect” with each other when we are always “connected” electronically?!
Challenge yourself to a “Digital Detox” during your one half-day of dedicated family and family time.
Leave your cell phone in a drawer. This might sound outrageous, and if seemingly impossible, start with a commitment of just 2-hours unplugged and slowly work your way up. See if you can build up to 8-hours unplugged. This will then be your entire half-day of dedicated quality time with friends and family.
Notice how your experience of time changes when you are unplugged. For me, my perception of time always expands. Time seems to pass more slowly and I believe this is because we are most often sensory overloaded and distracted by the cyber world that we don’t even notice “time slipping away”.
Being available, present and engaged will change our relationships. It is difficult and near impossible to offer genuine support, a genuine listening ear, when we are tapped into all sorts of external stimuli. As you put your phone and computer down, notice how the nature of your conversations change. Notice how much more you now “hear”.
Try brand new activities together. Get outside the rhythms of your normal routine and experience something new together.
Monotony is dangerous. Creature comforts are one thing, monotony is another. Did you know that every time you participate in a new activity, you create new neural pathways and fire up different parts of brain that may have been dormant for a long time?
Interacting with each other in new and fresh ways also helps to change the traditional dynamics of relationships. When everyone is experiencing something new, there does not need to a “leader” or a “follower”, everyone is on even playing ground.
Give each family member the opportunity to choose & plan an activity. This will allow each individual to step forwardand have a say, plus makes the planning and scheduling easy.
“Longevity Hotspots” continue to be a key source of inspiration for the development of programming at Core Essence. One of our key commitments is to create innovative programming with a strong educational backbone that will help us all to connect and stay true to the true essence of who we are.
Experience Biofeedback, Yoga and Meditation Programming at Core Essence for a further introduction of this type of work that is designed and targeted in personalized ways based on the needs of each individual.
*Throughout the rest of our “Secrets to Longevity” series we will dive more deeply into the other five characteristics and explore common barriers, tangible solutions, and practical application of new lifestyle commitments.