Today I Learned...

Key Takeaways:
  • Individuals who live in the blue zones follow a lifestyle that includes eating right, sleeping well and staying active.
  • The Blue Zones are full of examples of people who have found ways to get exercise that fit their lifestyles.
  • You don’t need a gym membership or expensive trainer—you just need some inspiration!
E

xercise is important for your health.

But what if you could exercise like the longest-living people in the world?

We're talking about the Blue Zones—a group of five regions around the world where people live longer, healthier lives. And they do it by eating right, sleeping well, and staying active.

The secret to their longevity? Exercise!

In fact, people in these regions make a conscious effort to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day—and they don't just run marathons or compete in triathlons.

Their daily exercise routines look more like this:

  • In Okinawa, Japan, people regularly practice a form of martial arts called Kempo. They follow slow, deliberate movements to help them stay grounded and centered in their bodies.
  • In Sardinia, Italy, people engage in intense physical work like farming and fishing. Also, the locals walk everywhere—they don't use cars unless they're traveling outside of their town. Their walking is leisurely, but they do it every day.
  • In Loma Linda, California, Adventists practice a strict vegetarian diet along with regular walking. Sometimes walking as long as 10 miles!
  • In Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, they practice a form of yoga called vinyasa that focuses on breathing and balance.
  • In Ikaria, Greece, people dance to get moving or focus on body weight exercises like push-ups and squats to keep fit!

How you can adopt a Blue Zones exercise regimen?

Make exercise social.

There's a reason why the Blue Zones are full of people who exercise. It's not just because they're healthy, but also because when you exercise with others, it becomes more enjoyable and easier to stick with. In fact, one study found that people were twice as likely to work out if they exercised in a group setting compared to working out alone.

There's no doubt that making exercise social can be incredibly motivating—and not just for yourself!

If you're going through a tough time or feeling discouraged by your progress, don't forget about friends and family who are there for you. Some people may have loved ones who support them through their journey; if so, try asking them for help if needed!

If none of your friends are interested in exercising with you (or vice versa), consider joining an online community where others have similar interests. You could even start writing down what exercises worked best for each day—this will help keep track of which ones worked best overall so that next week can be even better than before!

Gardening is a great low-key way to get exercise and vitamins from fresh produce.

The longest-living people in the world have something in common: they all have a strong sense of community, and they all participate in an activity that involves gardening.

When we think about exercise, we tend to think about running or lifting weights—but gardening is actually a very important part of keeping fit!

Gardening is a form of exercise that can lower your blood pressure and also improve your mood. It's also good for improving your balance and flexibility because it requires you to move around while performing different tasks (such as picking fruit or planting seeds).

Make your chores count.

One of the biggest mistakes we make when trying to get fit is thinking that exercise means going to the gym and sweating it out on an elliptical. The truth is that exercise can be defined as any activity that causes you to use more energy than your body would normally use at rest. This includes things like housework, yard work, and even gardening.

So if you're already doing chores around the house, then those are already helping boost your fitness level. For example, make sure every task gets done with a bit of muscle power—even vacuuming! You'd be surprised how much more effective it is when you actually push down on the handle instead of just using suction alone. Just don't forget about taking breaks throughout these tasks so everyone stays safe from injury!

Take 10,000 steps daily.

This is the recommended daily minimum for longevity and health. It can be done by taking a brisk walk or another form of exercise.

The average person takes around 5,000-6,000 steps per day; those who reach their goal of 10K are on their way toward living longer than most Americans - like those in the Blue Zones! If you're not sure how many steps you should aim for each day based on your weight and height—which is what the research recommends—start with this goal and adjust accordingly.

Get some shut-eye.

If you want to live as long as the oldest people on Earth, it's important to get plenty of sleep. And not just a little bit of sleep—you should be getting at least 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night.

Most Blue Zone communities pride themselves on the importance of getting enough sleep every night. In Ikaria, Greece, for example, residents routinely get nine or ten hours of rest each night—and they are known for their incredible longevity rates!

The Blue Zones areas of the world have a lot in common when it comes to health and longevity, including their physical activity regimens.

The Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live long, happy lives. The Blue Zone exercise regimens are based on walking and other low impact activities like gardening. They also have a lot in common with the American Heart Association's guidelines for exercise, which include these recommendations:

  • Adults should get at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking; or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as jogging or running.
  • Strength training exercises can help maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints as we age. Muscle mass declines naturally beginning around age 40 - that's normal! But it's important to do strength exercises to keep losing muscle tissue to a minimum.

So if you’re looking for a way to stay healthy and happy, get up and get moving! The Blue Zones are full of examples of people who have found ways to get exercise that fit their lifestyles. You don’t have to join a gym or hire a trainer—you just need some inspiration from the tips above.

To learn more about the Blue Zones, watch our class: Blue Zones - What Are They?

Posted 
Oct 31, 2022
 in 
Wellness
 category

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