Dan Buettner is the founder of Blue Zones. Blue Zones is an organization dedicated to helping people live longer, better lives by sharing the lessons of our longest-standing cultures. You may have heard of him recently as he is currently appearing on New Guys NetFlix. series, The secret of the Blue Zone to live until 100 years old. In episode 1, he travels to the Japanese island of Okinawa to learn about ikigai.
However, Okinawans actually have many traditions that demonstrate proven concepts for living a long and happy life. Below, we will explore concepts such as ikigai, moai, and halahachib in more detail.
Who are Okinawans and what do they know about longevity?
Okinawa is an island south of mainland Japan, where the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. This is a beautiful tropical place that is home to the world’s longest-living humans. On average, men live to the age of 84 and women to the age of 90. There are also a large number of centenarians who are over 100 years old. Perhaps most surprising is that even the oldest Okinawans are considered to be healthy and have the emotional, physical, and intellectual capacity to live and function independently.
So what is their secret? Researchers say Okinawa’s secrets include Ikigai, Moai, and Harahachibu.
Let’s see what these interesting words mean.
What is ikigai?
Google translates ikigai from Japanese to English as “reason for living.” And this is probably a simple, but apt explanation.
In order to live a long life, it seems necessary to have a sense of purpose even in old age.at least one international learning It turns out that people who have a sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of death and heart disease. People who feel a sense of purpose often live healthier lifestyles. And they are more motivated and resilient, protecting them from stress and burnout.
So how do you find your purpose/reason for living?
The Japanese concept of “ikigai” represents the intersection of what you like, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can get in return.
Other important qualities of ikigai:
- That’s a challenge for you. Your Ikigai should be something you need to strive to master.
- “Ikigai” is something you choose for yourself, it cannot be forced upon you.
- it requires your commitment
Here are some resources to learn more about Ikigai.
What is moai?
In Japanese, moai refers to a group of lifelong friends. It also refers to social support groups that provide social, economic, health, or psychological benefits.
The concept of moai was popularized in the United States by Buettner.
Articles about blue zone website This is what he says about Okinawa’s Moai.
The term originated hundreds of years ago as a means of village financial support system. Moai were originally formed to pool the resources of the entire village for projects and public works. If an individual needed money to buy land or deal with an emergency, the only way was to pool the money locally. Today, this idea has expanded into more social support networks, embedded cultural traditions of friendship.
In small communities across Okinawa, friends “gather together for a common purpose” (sometimes daily, sometimes several days a week) to gossip, share life experiences, share advice, and find needed help. In some cases, we may provide financial assistance. They call these groups Moai.
Traditionally, groups of about five young children are paired up, and that’s when they make lifelong vows to each other. As a second family, they met regularly and shared resources with the moai for both work and play. Some moai can live for over 90 years.
While you may not technically be able to own a moai, you should try to make close friends and see them regularly.
What is Hara Yabu?
Compared to “Ikigai” and “Moai,” Halahachib is very simple and can be applied to daily life relatively easily.
Belly eight minutes is a dietary method in which you eat until you are eight minutes full. Restricting your intake to near saturation will reduce your calorie intake, although you won’t go below your actual caloric needs.
As you know, the brain lags behind the stomach by about 10-20 minutes. So if you stop eating when you’re 80% full, you’re actually full. The average Okinawan man who practices Halahachib consumes only 1,800 calories per day, compared to the average American who consumes nearly 2,500 calories per day.
Other longevity lessons from Okinawans
Researchers believe that Ikigai, Moai, and Harahachibu are three major reasons why Okinawans live such long and healthy lives.
Other contributors include:
A diverse plant-based diet: Okinawans not only eat far more vegetables (mainly green and yellow vegetables) than most people, they also eat whole grains, tofu, fish, and other legumes. They eat very little sugar and very little meat, dairy products, or eggs.
on CNN interview With Mr. Sanjay Gupta and Mr. Craig Wilcox (author of the book)Okinawa program” explains that Okinawans “typically eat seven types of fruits and vegetables, 18 types of foods a day, and regularly eat more than 200 different foods and spices in their overall diet.” Did. In the United States, we are fortunate to have a total of more than a dozen different foods in our regular daily diet. ”
A vegetarian diet is inherently rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, and nutrients, and is naturally low in calories and anti-inflammatory.
Activities: Staying active doesn’t mean running 10 miles a day or sweating it out at the gym. The Okinawan approach to exercise makes physical activity a part of daily life.
Most Okinawans are actively involved in walking and gardening. Gardening is a daily physical activity that promotes a wide range of mobility. Okinawans also tend to walk, ride bicycles, and even participate in martial arts. Additionally, their homes have very limited furniture and meals are eaten sitting on tatami mats on the floor. Getting up and down off the ground improves flexibility and strength.
sunlight: Because of their tropical location and active outdoor lifestyle, Okinawans benefit from a year-round intake of vitamin D.
Outside Magazine asked recently.Is sunscreen the new margarine?It turns out that people with lower levels of vitamin D (a hormone made by our skin with the help of sunlight) have a significantly higher incidence of almost every conceivable disease and disorder. Also, vitamin D supplements do not have the same health benefits as exposure to the sun itself.
Skin cancer is a risk of sun exposure, but it may be less harmful than vitamin D deficiency.
Here are some ideas on how to make your retirement more sunny.
Make longevity an important aspect of retirement planning
You don’t know how long you will live, but the answer to this question can be an important aspect of planning for a secure future.
NewRetirement Planner lets you try out different life expectancies to see if your savings stick. However, it’s also a good idea to look for ways to earn a decent lifetime income, an income that lasts for the rest of your life, no matter how long it lasts. Lifetime income sources include Social Security and some pensions. You can also turn your savings into a guaranteed lifetime income by purchasing a lifetime annuity.
This tool is perfect for planning because it covers comprehensive information related to retirement and is completely customizable.