National Geographic came up with the term “Blue Zone” to describe areas where the elderly survive past the averages. For some reason, the elderly in these areas thrive well into their 80s, 90s, 100s. It includes villages in Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, and Japan. Loma Linda, California, also makes the list of Blue Zone cities.
What do the experts believe makes Blue Zone residents live longer than average? Within these areas, five commonalities were found.
Strong Family Relationships
Families in these areas tend to be close-knit. Time is spent making sure families gather for meals and activities together. Families come first.
Getting together with your parents, siblings, and grandchildren once a week is a good start. Anyone feeling ill with a cold or flu should stay home. Otherwise, consider a potluck dinner where everyone brings something so that your parents don’t have to cook.
Socializing with others in the community is also common in Blue Zone areas. If your parents don’t know their neighbors, it’s a good place to start. They don’t have to hang out together, but they could stand outside and chat from time to time. If there is an emergency, they know people on a first-name basis.
Being part of a local senior center or church is another way to be social. Support groups, hobby groups, and volunteering are other ways to socialize.
Focus on Vegetarian Diets
The dietary habits of people in these areas were looked at. Many people eat vegetarian meals regularly. They may have meat now and then, but most meals were vegetarian and often focuses on produce grown at home or locally.
Legumes were also part of this diet. People eat a lot of bean dishes. In Japan, it’s not unusual to eat steamed edamame (soybeans) as a snack.
Plenty of Physical Activity Each Day
Recommendations for physical activity are currently at 30 minutes a day at least 5 days per week. Your parents can be more active than this if it’s possible. An hour’s walk each day does amazing things for their health.
Walking is a good exercise if arthritis is present. Swimming and Yoga are other exercises they should mix into their weekly routines.
Low Percentages of Smokers
These communities also do not have a lot of smokers. If your parents smoke, they should look into quitting. Gums, nicotine patches, and prescription medications may help.
If your parents have a hard time exercising alone or staying social, home care is a handy service. Caregivers help them stay social, get outside for walks, and eat healthy meals. Call a home care agency to make arrangements.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Redwood City, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care.
Call today: (415) 795-2203
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