by: Rita Duponty
Researchers are now forecasting that our children’s life expectancy may be lower than ours. This may be the first time in living history. Why such a gloomy prediction?
It’s all about lifestyle. Researchers have studied pockets of 100 year old people throughout the globe known as centenarians. These areas around the globe are called Blue Zones. What’s so interesting is that all of the areas share the same factors in their lifestyles that contribute to their awesome longevity. There are nine characteristics distinctly shared by all Blue Zones. Our modern-day family is falling very short in meeting these nine markers! Here are two factors that involve you and your family:
Diet: Blue Zone populations eat less meat than most Americans; less than twice weekly. Their diet contains more beans, green plants, and nuts. How much meat does your family eat per week? How many bean dishes do you prepare? Are greens and nuts part of your regular regimen? Can you modify or make changes in your weekly menu that are healthier choices?
According to Kid’s Health, one in three kids in the United States is either overweight or obese. One of my prior posts on this blog also discussed the alarming rise in diabetes 2 in children resulting from poor diet and lack of physical activity. The National Institute of Health (NIH) said that childhood obesity may cause a larger decrease in average life expectancy than “the negative effect of all accidental deaths combined.” Also, The New England Journal of Medicine, A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century, published a detailed report that linked childhood obesity to poor health and a shorter life expectancy.
Using More Natural Ways of Getting Around: Walking is a primary way of getting around in the Blue Zones and a natural part of normal daily activity. How much physical activity do your children get? As a family, are you walking or even biking together? As an adult, do you park your car at the back of the parking lot to get more exercise? Do you ever take the steps instead of the elevator? Set the example. Your kids will follow. A healthier lifestyle definitely includes more physical activity. Spring is approaching in many parts of the United States and elsewhere. Start gardening. Gardening is a major factor in many of the hot spots or Blue Zones. You might enjoy my blog, Vegetable Garden—Your Family’s Golden Nugget.
Obviously, we can’t change everything in our lifestyle at once. However, we can take one step at a time in creating a healthier lifestyle that will result in a longer lifespan for ourselves and those we love. As a parent, you want the best future for your children. Learn from the centenarians. They too were children once.
Read Thrive: Finding Happiness The Blue Zones Way to get the other key factors of the centenarians’ lifestyle.