Everyone has a morning routine that works best for them. But just because you have a certain regimen that you’ve been doing forever, that doesn’t mean it’s made up of the healthiest habits. If you’re curious about how you can improve the way you start each day and perhaps extend your life, take inspiration from those who live in the Blue Zones of Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Sardinia, Italy. The Blue Zones are areas of the world where it is common for individuals to live to the age of 100. We’re here with some of the best morning habits from the world’s longest-living people, so listen up.
We know it’s easy to get stuck in a rut because change can be hard to get used to. But it can be so refreshing to change things up and try new things. And what better way to learn how to improve the length of your life than by learning from those who have been there and done it successfully? Some simple habits like what you eat for breakfast and adding exercise to your day can potentially add years to your life. So keep an open mind and consider changing your lifestyle.
Read on to learn all about the best morning habits from the world’s longest-living people. And when you’re done, be sure to check out the top 5 Mediterranean lifestyle tips for a longer, healthier life.
Start your morning with a nutritious breakfast, like oats.
A hearty breakfast, like a bowl of oats in the morning, gets the seal of approval from Blue Zones founder, explorer, National Geographic contributor and award-winning journalist Dan Buettner. In a TikTok video, Buettner reveals that oatmeal is “the perfect Blue Zone breakfast, especially as we head into the colder months.”
Buettner emphasizes choosing the “steel, slow-cooked kind” and enjoying them with chopped nuts, especially almonds. “Cook these two together,” he says. “I like to cook them together.” It only takes 10 minutes. It softens the almonds. I add a little oat milk. I like a little sweet, so I’ll add a teaspoon of maple syrup and then a little cinnamon. And when you add cinnamon, not only is it antibacterial, but it also boosts the sweetness without adding sugar. Combine these two low glycemic index, complex carbohydrates, fiber that will see you through until noon and help you live to 100.
Spend some quality time with loved ones.
Mornings can be busy, but before you open your laptop or start your day, take some quality time to connect with your partner and family. Putting family first is something Blue Zones individuals are pros at, and it’s clear they’re reaping the benefits of this soul-nourishing habit. Buettner reveals in a TikTok video, “The foundation of every longevity culture in the world is how they connect. They tend to prioritize family over work and hobbies.”
Have a coffee.
If a hot cup of joe is already part of your morning ritual, you’re in luck, because this habit is also practiced by individuals from the Blue Zones. According to the Blue Zones, Niconians, Icarians and Sardinians start their morning with a cup of coffee that is only slightly sweetened and has no cream. In addition, scientific evidence proves that drinking coffee is a great way to perk in the morning and all day. Coffee can improve your mood, help with depression and reduce inflammation; it also contains essential antioxidants.
Set intentions for your day.
Research also shows that seniors who set clear purpose or goals tend to live longer than those who do not. Setting intentions or determining a purpose for each day is a smart morning habit to get into and it may even help extend your life! In many Blue Zones, the idea of having a purpose, or what motivates these individuals to get out of bed in the morning, is a key part of their lifestyle. Okinawans call it “ikigai” and Nicoyans call it “plan de vida”.
Alexa is the Deputy Mind + Body Editor at Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and providing readers with compelling fitness, health and self-care topics. Read more about Alexa
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