Longevity And The Blue Zone

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 Experts have identified five (5) zones in the world where people live to be over 100 years and are healthy and still active. These zones are:

  • Icaria, Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Loma Linda, California, USA.

This discussion will focus on the Loma Linda group that has an acronym that can be easily remembered. The NEWSTART Principle. I added an “H” to make it NEWSTARTH. Let’s get started:

  • N – Nutrition
  • E – Exercise
  • W – Water
  • S – Sunshine
  • T – Temperance
  • A – Air
  • R – Rest
  • T – Trust in God
  • H – Humor (sense of humor)

NUTRITION

What do you eat and when do you eat? There is a saying; “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

Longevity is in a way tied to our eating habits. The Loma Linda group advocate vegetarianism, however, if you can’t be a vegetarian eat a balanced diet. Let your meals include proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so eat like a king. Lunch keeps you going, so eat like a prince, dinner serves little purpose since it can’t be burned out especially if you eat after 7pm. So if you have to eat after 7pm; eat a little, try and eat light food with fiber or just fruits.

Pics2The challenge with living in a city like Lagos is that most people get home late and then “enjoy” a meal of swallows. This is responsible for a lot of pot-bellied men and women. Why is swallow a problem at night? Takes time to digest and accumulates as fat in the stomach area. If you remember your basis biology, the process of digestion starts with mastication where the saliva releases enzymes to break down the food. With swallows you don’t have that luxury so the digestive system does extra work.

Our fore fathers who eat swallow burnt it off by walking to their farms or around the village. So if you have to eat swallow, make sure you can burn it off. Don’t eat swallow and seat in air conditioned cars, offices, or homes. Why do people feel sleepy or dizzy after a lunch bowl of ponded yam or eba? Your guess as good as mine. Don’t misunderstand me, I have nothing against swallows but eat it when you can burn it out. It may even be better to eat it for breakfast.

EXERCISE

Find time to exercise. As busy as you may be find some time. The easiest and most effective exercise is brisk walking. Experts say 30 minutes or brisk walking is good exercise. So if you don’t have a car and you commute, drop off a bus stop away from your office and walk. If you work in a building with an elevator, use the staircase for exercise and wave to the elevator. Find something to do. I once had someone say that; “Your health and fitness after 70 years is a function of what you did before you were 40”

WATER

Doctors say 67% of our body weight is water. So what the body needs is water not sugar & chemical loaded drinks. The Loma Linda group drink only water and freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. Keep your drinks to as natural as possible.

How much water should you drink, some say six (6) to eight (8) glasses of water. Some say drink enough water till your urine is transparent. It is advised you drink water when you wake up, it helps to clean the system and wash down toxic chemicals in the system. If you are dehydrated before you get to drink water, then you are damaging your body. Water should be taken at every opportunity.

SUNSHINE

Sunshine provides vitamin D which helps to improve skin quality, so try and enjoy that early morning sunrise shine not the hot sunshine. If you have a sedentary job that keeps you locked in the office all through the week, find time during the weekend to enjoy the sunshine.

TEMPERANCE

Keep things simple, don’t eat too much. Experts now say the more food you eat the shorter your life span. The body needs just certain amount of calories and all excess are a waste. Don’t be a glutton and don’t be greedy especially with free food, just eat what you need and can finish.

My late guardian Prof. John OyedokunOyelese(Professor of Mathematics) used to say; “Man is the only animal that drinks when he’s not thirsty”. So man drinks for pleasure and could end up not knowing his limits.

AIR

Enjoy fresh air. If you live in the city like Lagos where the air is not fresh get out once in a while to the outskirts (Epe, Badagry, Lagos Conservation center) and spend time out to enjoy nature.

The tighter your clothes the more difficult it is to fully exhale all the air. “Women (men) are subject to serious maladies, and their sufferings are greatly increased by their manner of dress. It is essential to health that the chest have room to expand to its fullest extent in order that the lungs may be enabled to take full inspiration. When the lungs are restricted, the quantity of oxygen received into them is lessened. The blood is not properly vitalized, and the waste, poisonous matter, which should be thrown off through the lungs, is retained. In addition to this the circulation is hindered, and the internal organs are so cramped and crowded out of place that they cannot perform their work properly” (White).

REST

Pics3Find time to rest, take your vacations, don’t be focused on just wining the rate race because the race has no end. “The road to success is continuously under construction”. If you don’t rest, you will end up resting in peace (R.I.P.). The Loma Linda group are Seventh-day Adventists and they observe Saturday as a day of rest every week, and don’t joke with their vacation.

TRUST IN GOD

The group claims that trust in God is extremely important because you may practice all of the above and still not live long. This is because they believe that it is God that has the gift of life and death and does whatever He wants with it at His own time.

HUMOR

Humor is not part of the NEWSTART Principle. Humor is my addition to the principle. People become stressed out because they take life too seriously, they never see the humor side of life. They keep malice, hatred and unforgiveness. “Unforgiveness is a weapon of mind destruction”. Someone says “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

In more cases that not the people we are upset with don’t even know we are upset with them. They just go about their normal lives, while you ae dying slowly.

Laugh1What is Laughter?

“Laughter is a smile that engages the entire body. At first, the corners of the mouth turn up slightly, then the muscles around your eyes engage and we can see a twinkling in the eyes. Next you begin to make noises, ranging from controlled snickers, escaped chortles, and spontaneous giggles, to ridiculous cackles, noisy hoots, and uproarious guffaws. Your chest and abdominal muscles become activated. As the noises get louder, you begin to bend your body back and forth, sometimes slapping your knees, stomping your feet on the floor or perhaps elbowing another person nearby. As laughter reaches its peak, tears flow freely. All of this continues until you feel so weak and exhausted that you must sit down or fall down”. (Holistic Nursing (pg. 313) By Barbara Montgomery Dossey& Lynn Keegan)

Benefits of Laughing

  • Restores balance and equilibrium
  • Helps to discharge surplus tension and mental excitation
  • Helps to boost productivity
  • Laughter is like having stationary jogging
  • A laugh a day keeps the doctor away
  • Laughter can have profound effects on organic illness, including incurable malignancies
  • Laughter releases the inner healing quality to restore you naturally.
  • Fortifies us against depression and heart disease and heightens our resistance to pain.

Strategies for Laughter

  • Choose to live a God centered life
  • Choose to be thankful
  • Choose to be happy
  • Choose to practice forgiveness
  • Choose to love other people
  • Choose to do something meaningful
  • Choose to be hopeful and optimistic
  • Choose to make a difference
  • Develop a sense of humor

Forum Discussion:

How healthy are you? Are your biological age and physiological age the same? If you are not sure go to https://www.sharecare.com/static/realage-sharecareand take the survey to find out. Do you have any concerns? Do you need clarifications?

Let’s have your comments!!!

REFERENCES

https://www.bluezones.com/about-blue-zones/explorations/

http://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/nutrition-tips/eat-different-sized-meals

http://www.active.com/walking/articles/forget-the-gym-why-a-brisk-walk-is-a-really-great-workout

http://greatist.com/health/health-benefits-water

http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d

http://newstartclub.com/resources/detail/temperance

http://www.yourstandardlife.com/archives/5-Enjoy-Fresh-Air-for-Better-Health.html

http://www.thefitnessexplorer.com/home/2010/8/10/six-benefits-of-rest.html

http://www.eomega.org/article/4-surprising-benefits-of-rest

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

http://life.gaiam.com/article/7-benefits-laughter

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