5 habits of the longest-living people in the world

The secret habits of the longest-living people in the world

In a world where we are all seeing so much morbidity, we want to equip you with some fresh habits that could help you extend your lifespan.

The secret habits of the people that live the longest in the world

We remember people joking about a secret pool or lake that held magical powers of keeping one youthful and healthy. But those were just jokes, the real truth behind staying youthful and living a longer life has a lot to do with your mental and physical routines, especially at night time. 

The residents of the longevity hotspots of Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica, know a thing or five about winding down at the end of the day and we should listen, because they clearly know what works.

Dan Buettner, an author and researcher who studies the longevity of hotspots listed above, has come to learn about a few habits that have helped these residents live to 100 without any serious mental or physical impairment. 

Up at the top of the list of habits is:

1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule - that is why our parents got us to follow a bed time routine when we were kids and we try to do the same for our kids. There's definitely some truth behind this habit, set a bed time for each night and make sure to be consistent and practice it daily. If you struggle to sleep then you can practice a "wind-down" routine that involves meditation or yoga, which experts say can aid in relaxation. 

2. Get a full night of sleep - getting regular sleep isn't just enough, you have to make sure that you get enough ZZZ so that your body and your mind get time to properly revitalise. Aiming for 8-10 hours is what is suggested by the Blue Zones

3. Incorporate time to "down shift" 

"That wind-down routine? That’s something that centenarians in Blue Zones incorporate in their daily routine as a way to manage stress." These "down shifts", as Buettner calls them, vary from Blue Zone to Blue Zone: The Ikarians take mid-day naps, while the Sardinians go to Happy Hour, and the Okinawans take a moment to honor their ancestors. (Well and Good)

The truth behind this one is something we often chat about but don't often make time to practice. Make time to shake-off all the stress or negative energies from the day. Whether that means reading a book, enjoying a night-cap or a cup of tea, even doing some dancing, it's up to you to make the time to not take the stress to bed. 

4. Hold off on the "late night snack"

"People in Blue Zones don’t eat to excess, which may help them maintain healthy weights. They also typically eat small dinners early in the evening and refrain from late-night snacking." (Blue Zone)

Small meals throughout the day is key. Most of the residents from the Blue Zones practice a small meal mindset, which also encourages mindfulness during eating time, which further allows them to focus on their bodies whilst eating. 

5. Enjoy wine o' clock - According to Buettner's research, all of the Blue Zones enjoy wine in moderation. "There’s plenty of evidence in Blue Zones that a couple glasses a day, especially with friends and with a meal… probably lowers your mortality." (Well and Good)

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