9 Lifestyle Habits of People Who Live Past 100

In the United States, the average person lives to be around 78 years old. But in five places, people regularly celebrate their 100th birthday. These areas where people live the longest and healthiest are known as Blue Zones: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California. This discovery as made by Dan Buettner, author of the Blue Zones: 9 Lessons from People Who’ve Live the Longest.

© MoMo Productions – Getty Images

People who live the longest and healthiest lives all practice the same habits. Here’s what you can learn from centenarians living in the Blue Zones. So, what makes people in these regions so healthy? Researchers found that all Blue Zones share nine lifestyle habits that improve mental and physical fitness. Here’s what you should know about each:

Move naturally

There’s no need to spend hours at the gym for the sake of health. People in Blue Zones stay active by choosing to walk over drive, doing yard work, and moving more throughout the day. That’s because low-intensity movement burns more calories overall than the hour you spend at the gym. Instead of pushing yourself to run just one more mile, think of ways to increase activity by foregoing the elevator or by walking to the market.

Have a purpose

Having a clear reason that motivates you to get you out of bed and do your best increases your lifespan, according to the Blue Zones Project. In fact, a sense of purpose can add up to seven years onto your life.

And you don’t have to find meaning through large goals—like becoming CEO of your company. You can find purpose through small things like doing well on a work project or finding a creative outlet, reported NPR. In the Blue Zones Challenge, Buettner recommends placing a sticky note on your mirror with, as he says, “the default purpose: Grow & Give.”

Manage stress

People in Blue Zones aren’t without stress, which over time can lead to inflammation, high blood pressure, and possibly heart attacks. However, people in these areas have found ways to manage their stress. For example, Okinawans take time everyday to remember their ancestors, and Sardinians regularly participate in happy hour, according to the Blue Zones Project.

Running, meditating, or tackling a DIY project are simple ways to reduce stress. Buettner recommends meditation, yoga, and tai chi. And in the Blue Zones Challenge, encourages people to spend at least two hours in nature.

Don’t eat until you’re stuffed

Instead, eat only until you’re 80 percent satisfied, which is what the Blue Zones Project calls the 80 percent rule. Citizens in the Blue Zones have their smallest meals during the day or early evening and avoid grazing at night. A key way to eat better and enjoy it more: Avoid eating in front of a screen.

Eat less meat

People in Blue Zones eat a mostly plant-based diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Instead of relying on animal sources for protein, this group eats loads of beans, which contains protein and fiber. For example, a cup of canned chickpeas offers 18 grams of protein which contains the amino acids necessary for muscle growth.

Enjoy alcohol in moderation

There’s a lot of confusion about whether or not alcohol is actually good for us. Some studies say drinking wine is good for your heart, while other research links any alcohol consumption to a shorter expectancy.

Research in Blue Zones show that people drink alcohol regularly in moderate amounts. So, rather than drink six beers on Saturday, people typically have one to two drinks a day.

Belong to a community

Overwhelming, centenarians belong to a faith-based community. In fact, just five of the 263 centenarians interviewed by the Blue Zones project didn’t belong to a specific community. However, this doesn’t mean you need to head to church. Instead, you can find your own community through hobby groups, close friends, and family.

Prioritize family time

Family is important to Blue Zones centenarians. It’s common to live near older parents or to move them into your home. Adults also commit to one partner and spend quality time with their children.

Have a healthy social network

People who lived the longest surrounded themselves with others who practiced healthy habits, according to the Blue Zones Project. In fact, research from the Framingham studies-which looked at heart disease risk—shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness may be contagious. Buettner encourages you to take time to call, text or email a friend or family member you haven’t connected with recently. Another way to enhance your social network (and eat well, too): Host a healthy potluck.

Article by Melissa Matthews for Men’s Health©

Source: 9 Lifestyle Habits of People Who Live Past 100 (msn.com)

How to Improve Students’ Critical Thinking Skills

What is critical thinking?
It’s all about processing, carefully analyzing, and using information and coming up with arguments. Feel free to take the time and apply this set of skills to any problem that you face, question, subject area, or concept. This process requires a lot of open-mindedness and involves closely monitoring every thought, determining where it comes from, and how other ideas follow it. How to think critically? You should stay neutral with respect to your assumptions or considerations, search for prejudices or biases, and correct them all.

Relevant benefits
It’s important to improve critical thinking skills to enjoy a number of major benefits for any area of reasoning. What are they?

Gathering valuable information methodically and assessing it accurately.

Asking clear and relevant questions with a limited and defined scope.

Displaying your consistent awareness of your competence limits and monitoring the things that you struggle to accept or fail to understand.

Making well-supported conclusions and evaluating them against the arguments of opponents.

Communicating with others productively to make the best choice, even when solving complex issues.

Improving your critical thinking abilities isn’t only beneficial for your work, but it also ensures strong relationships and enables you to deal with any conflict faster.

Critical thinking is an element of knowledge that is essential in all fields in your life. Share about it, adopt that element, improve your skills in all possible ways, and there will be no topic you won’t be able to perceive adequately.

8 Powerful ways that actually work
How to improve critical thinking skills? It’s all about regular practice, and there are some efficient ways to develop critical thinking skills that can help you make powerful and simple changes to cognition:

Ask basic questions;
Comprehend your mental process;
Adjust your personal perspective;
Think in reverse;
Develop your foresight;
Question conventional assumptions regularly;
Understand logical fallacies well;
Discover multiple perspectives on your topic.
Remember that any learning approach is helpful. Every time you join a new class, read about something, or tackle challenging books, you’re becoming a smarter and sharper thinker.

Source: How to Improve Critical Thinking – 8 Tips by Pro Psychologists (essaydragon.com)

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