Week 2: Move Naturally

By putting your walking shoes or bike right where you can see them, you start on the path to movement. Commit to walking 15 minutes per day, and then keep adding more as you feel the benefits.week2bzl

Week 2 Required Activities

1. Put your running / walking shoes or bike out where you can see them.

Try the front door, and do it even though it probably doesn’t go with your decor!

2. Spend 15 minutes outside a day (30 minutes is better!).

People who spend at least 30 mins outside in nature report better mood and well-being. Blue Zones headquarters is in Minneapolis, so we understand cold! If it’s cold where you live, you can still get out and go for a brisk walk if you bundle up.

3. Eat at least 5 Blue Zones meals / recipes this week.

You can use this list of recommended easy recipes, or make any other plant-slant meals made from whole foods that you wish. It can be as simple as whole wheat bread with peanut butter and apples or veggie soup with a side of bread.

4. Walk at least once this week with your walking buddy or group.


Week 2 Optional Activities

1. Take public transportation to work at least once and learn the route.

2. Host a potluck and try out some Blue Zones recipes.

3. Hide your TV remote. Getting up to change the channel will break up your couch-surfing time. 

4. Suggest a walking meeting at work.

Recent research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking.

5. Put some cushions on the floor and sit there instead of the couch.

Why do it: Sitting on the floor works your thighs, glutes, and lower back each time you sit down and stand back up. Supporting yourself without a chair back improves posture and may help you burn up to an additional 130 calories each hour. Okinawans sit on the floor and get up and down all day, every day.

6. Limit your workweek to 40 hours.

The happiest people in the world generally don’t work over 40 hours.

7. Get some sun, about 15 minutes per day.

Nicoyans regularly take in sunshine, which helps their bodies produce vitamin D for strong bones and healthy body function. 

8. Discover an herbal tea you love.

Ikarians drink herbal teas made from wild oregano, sage, and rosemary—all of which lower blood pressure. Researchers have also found that chamomile tea contains properties that guard against platelet clumping; peppermint tea exhibits antiviral properties; and hibiscus tea may lower blood pressure. Rotate teas to make sure you’re not getting too much of one compound (and to be sure you’re benefitting from all as well).

9. Eat a light, early dinner.

“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” — American nutritionist Adelle Davis is said to have recommended this, and it’s an attitude reflected by Adventists. A light dinner early in the evening avoids flooding the body with calories during inactive parts of the day, which promotes better sleep.

10. Snack on nuts.

Adventists who consume nuts at least five times a week have about half the risk of heart disease and live about two years longer than those who don’t. At least four major studies have confirmed that eating nuts has an impact on health and life expectancy. 

11. Tape a reminder note to your dashboard to park as far away as you can from the door.

Our Western lifestyle is sedentary, even though we’ve evolved to move throughout the day. Get in steps and some natural movement where you can—there’s no need to circle the parking lot at the grocery store, at work, or while running errands to park as close as you can.

12. Install a browser extension or app to remind you to stand or stretch every hour.

Centenarians in the blue zones areas live in environments that nudge them to move naturally every twenty minutes, rather than separating fitness into a different part of their day. It’s built into their lifestyles subconsciously.  You can install a free app like Stretchclock to be reminded to get up during your workday, and even to get suggested stretches.

BACK to Week 1

Eat Wisely

On to Week 3

Right Tribe