Have you ever heard of Blue Zones? If not, they are areas of the world where people live considerably longer than the vast majority of others.
People in these regions, the longest-living people on earth, don’t get their longevity from fad diets, workouts, or other short-lived lifestyle changes. Instead, they live in areas that nudge them, perhaps unconsciously, to healthier behaviour like eating more plant-based food and moving more.
Can you set up your home to mimic this effect? In a way. Although it’s not possible to replicate the natural environment of a Blue Zone in your home, you can use these regions as inspiration to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Here are some of the things you can do to build a healthier living space that may contribute to you living longer and better.
Keep your TV far from the kitchen: Research suggests that people often eat past the point of fullness when they watch television. If you have to walk to another area of your home, or even up or down a flight of stairs, you’re less likely to snack mindlessly while getting a few extra steps in, as well.
Put a shoe rack by the door: A shoe rack by the door encourages you to take your shoes off upon entry. How does that potentially add to longevity? It may improve air quality and protect you from illness. Data suggests that 28 percent of shoes carry fecal bacteria that you’ve picked up along the way,
Eat with others as often as possible: Socializing is a core part of many Blue Zones, and research has shown that it can contribute to better physical and mental health. Aside from these effects, eating with others contributes to slower eating.
Grow a vegetable garden: Having a vegetable garden encourages more physical activity and a healthier diet. Further, gardening seems to be consistent in every Blue Zone. If you don’t have the space for your own, look into a nearby community garden.
Include plants: Plants and greenery can help improve air quality and relieve stress, two components that can contribute to better health and longevity.
Try to use low furniture and rugs: Falls are a major concern for Americans 65 and over and are one of the leading causes of hospitalization. Lower furniture and carpets may help reduce the risk. But low furniture can also encourage better balance and muscle strength!