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5 WAYS TO GET FIT EFFORTLESSLY

MAGGIE O'MEARA

We all think that “getting fit” means countless hours at the gym, endless miles running, and as many spinning classes we can fit into our schedule. But what if I told you that the key to exercising to get fit is actually effortless? We can learn much from the people of Okinawa, Japan; home to the world’s longest-lived women! 1

Okinawa Japan is a “Blue Zone” which is one of the identified hotspots in the world with the highest concentrations of people over 100 years old without health problems like heart disease, cancer, obesity, or diabetes.1 They have the healthiest lifestyles in the world. The people of Okinawa have the fittest bodies to enable them to live such long lives and they never set foot in a gym or ever dread exercise.

 

 

 

 

Here’s how: the people of Okinawa make being active just part of their day and way of life. They have a naturally active lifestyle in which they have no choice to be fit. They walk everywhere they go, do physical chores and hobbies, practice yoga, and play games with friends, family, and the people they love. The key here is that they live this lifestyle almost everyday. Consistently staying active in a healthy way reduces inflammation, improves heart health, and lowers stress all leading to longevity.2 Studies also show that regular and consistent activity can improve mental health such as anxiety or depression.3

 

5 Ways You Can Get Fit Effortlessly

1) Walk

The people of Okinawa walk everywhere (up to 5 or 6 miles everyday!) and it’s a great way to stay fit. While it is not always accessible to walk everywhere, increasing your daily steps is possible. Park farther away, use the stairs over the escalator, walk when talking on the phone, and move around your office or house for every hour you are sitting.

2) Clean

In Okinawa, they make sure daily chores and cleaning is done everyday and done by hand. We can do the same by keeping our own environment clean and tidy on a daily basis. Vacuuming, mopping, and organizing can be a vigorous movement that not only is hygienic but will get in your daily exercise!

3) Do Exercise You Enjoy

You should never dread your workout! People of Okinawa do sports, games, and other fun activities with their friends and family. Figure out what type of activities that you truly enjoy and gets you moving for at least 30 minutes a day. Some ideas for this are: dancing, biking, swimming, yoga, strength training, running around with your kids or dog, walking with friends, sports, or shopping. Just enjoy your movement! 

4) Get Outside

Okinawans are active gardeners and it is a great source of daily physical activity and also helps reduce stress. Even if you don’t have a garden, getting outside in nature is great for your mental well-being as well as makes you be physical. Also getting away from your electronics such as your phone, television, or computer can be great to clear your mind and focus on your inner well-being. Try hiking, nature walks, swimming, or just soaking up the sunshine.

5) Laugh

Laughing burns calories! The people of Okinawa lived long lives by having a great social network for emotional support in times of need, as well as overall general happiness. The power of decreasing stress through laughing with your friends and family is an amazing phenomenon that will only benefit your body.

 

EXPLORE OPTIMIST

 

References
  1. 5 "Blue Zones" Where the World's Healthiest People Live. A Guide to Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/books/features/5-blue-zones-where-the-worlds-healthiest-people-live/. Published April 10, 2017. Accessed September 21, 2018.
  2. Gremeaux V, Gayda M, Lepers R, Sosner P, Juneau M, Nigam A. Exercise and longevity. Maturitas. 2012;73(4):312-317. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.09.012.
  3. Salmon P. Effects of physical exercise on anxiety, depression, and sensitivity to stress. Clinical Psychology Review. 2001;21(1):33-61. doi:10.1016/s0272-7358(99)00032-x..

 

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