TODAY Show: From Snacks to Naps—The Easiest Healthy Lifestyle Changes You’ll Actually Enjoy
The TODAY Show hosted Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner to share some healthy lifestyle tips from the world’s blue zones. Research shows that a majority of New Year’s resolution-ers drop off around January 20th, but if you change your surroundings to make the healthy choice the unavoidable, easier choice—Dan says, “that can last for years or decades.”
So what can we do to live like the healthiest people in the world?
Make Friends for Life
The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors, Okinawans created “moais“–groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. So the social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors.
We would never tell you to dump your old friends, but you can proactively add people to your network with shared values and healthy habits—people with who you can have meaningful conversations.
Create a Commute
We know that those who walk or take public transportation to work have about a 20 percent lower rate of heart disease. While many of us are working in our spare bedrooms or at our kitchen tables, try putting your walking shoes by the door as a reminder to take a brisk 15-20 minute “commute” before you sit down to work.While many of us are working in our spare bedrooms or at our kitchen tables, try putting your walking shoes by the door as a reminder to take a brisk 15-20 minute commute before you sit down to work. Click To Tweet
Take a Real Lunch Break
The happiest people in the world are socializing face-to-face five to six hours a day. During the pandemic this may be difficult, but you can set up a Zoom call or a FaceTime with a friend or coworker who cares about you.
People who eat a handful of nuts every day live about two years longer than people who don’t. Leave a bowl of nuts out on your countertop to remind yourself at snack time.
Give yourself permission to nap! A 20-minute power nap can lower your risk of heart disease by about 30%.