Blue Zone in Okinawa Japan: Keys to Longevity, Happiness and Living a Healthy Life

Blue Zone in Okinawa Japan: Keys to Longevity, Happiness and Living a Healthy Life
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In our lifetimes, the average person eats about 80,000 meals, 80,000. How much of those meals incorporate fruits and vegetables for you? Probably not enough. If you look at the blue zones around the world, you know, those areas where there’s concentrated number of people who live to be like 90 plus, a hundred plus, you’ll notice that their diets are so high in real, fresh food. And they engage with their communities and feel a really strong bond and connection. They’re not only living longer, but they’re also living healthier and living. And they’re actually less likely to have a disability or be dependent on pharmaceutical medication. I got to visit one of those blue zones in Okinawa,

Of the seven blue zones around the world. They had a few things in common. Number one, they put family first, number two, they’re actively engaged with their community, whether that be spiritual or social. Number three, they eat mainly a plant-based diet. Number four, they engage in physical activity. Every single day. Number five, they smoke less. Number six, they have less stress. Number seven, they feel a purpose in life. None of these should be a surprise to you. I mean like, if anything, you’re probably nodding your heads. So if we wish to live healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives, how do we incorporate this into our lives? And then create new habits? A lot of people they’re all in or they’re all out. I feel like this is oftentimes not really sustainable. You might do for a week or two, but to make it like a real substantial permanent life change, sometimes it just has to be gradual.

I know that for most people, going vegetarian seems like an impossible feat. So maybe just start out eating less meat. When you eat meat, eat organic, and have one or two days a week where you eat vegetarian. You’d actually be surprised at how much you start to actually crave fresh vegetables. When it becomes a part of your daily life. I stopped eating meat years ago. I used to be that person who used to crave hamburgers and steaks. But honestly, now when I look at meat, it just is completely unappetizing to me. I don’t like labels and I don’t consider myself a vegetarian, but I love vegetarian and vegan meals. I love, love, love, great food. Sometimes when I travel, my choices are super limited. So basically my rule is I just, I just don’t buy or cook meat at home. There are just so many great recipes out there now.

I don’t know about you, but I have a love, hate relationship with social media. Yeah. It’s cool to reconnect and keep in touch with people and friends you wouldn’t otherwise. But on the other hand, it’s like sometimes it’s super annoying and a time suck. It’s a great relief to know that technology can’t actually replace an actual conversation with a friend at the end of the day. A sense of community is so integral to our well-being. We all wanna feel like we belong and that we have people who are looking out after us and that we have people that we’re looking after. I think that’s why we’re seeing a boom in friends who are deciding early on to grow old together, and form a living situation where they could be close and create a nice community. I know that’s something that I wanna do. I wanna have a line of tiny homes and communal space where we hang out together, a communal garden, where we can grow our own food.

This would be amazing. This is how I would love to do it. Do you have a community? Do you have a group of friends or family who you wanna grow old with now that I’ve turned 50?

My body honestly doesn’t feel the same. Do you feel your mortality? I think it really freaks some people out. Honestly, it’s like invigorated me. It’s like, I really wanna take advantage of the years that I have left and be really as healthy as possible.

Honestly, I’ve never been an athlete. I’ve always hated running, but I do take advantage of living in New York City where we’re forced to walk everywhere and I really enjoy walking. I’m also lucky that I have a job where I direct TV and documentaries. That gets me out of the office chair and into the field where at least I’m moving around. We have to start moving.

Did you know that you actually need to take a physical break every 50 minutes in order to have optimal performance? I see people sit on planes for 10 hours and never get up. Imagine what that’s doing to your body. So get up and just stretch simple exercises, squats, 10 pushups against your desk. Go walk the dogs, take 30 or 40 minutes at least three times a week. March in place for 30 minutes while you binge watch Netflix, anything, it’s your life. None of these are secrets. We all know what we should do. It’s all a matter of whether we wanna prioritize it, right? Just know that there are consequences for eating crap, food alone and not exercising. This change doesn’t happen overnight, but we can work on it together. So to recap, in order for us to live a little longer, a bit healthier, and with more purpose, try these things.

One, try to have a vegetarian meal once or twice a week and more fruits and vegetables to your daily eating habits. Maybe an apple with peanut butter instead of bag of chips for a snack. Be social, make a dinner and or lunch date with friends. Plan a walk with a friend, go to the movies together, walk your dogs together. And don’t take out your phone when you’re with them. Three, get out of the chair and get moving. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a 5K or walking down the street, whatever stage you may be in, don’t be sedentary. It’s scary to see all these young people just staring at their phone and sitting all day. Park your car at the furthest spot from the store and it’ll force you to walk a little bit further.

If you have other suggestions or ideas that work for you, I’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.