I know the secret to a long life (not what you think)

Published by Just Call Me Mike on

I know the secret to a long life (not what you think)

When I hear talking about slow living I can immediately relate to it.

I grew up in Sardinia, a magical land in the middle of the Mediterranean sea – by the way, Sardinia is part of Italy but it seems like an independent continent.

Geographically, culturally, socially: we experience the beauty of being an island that is far enough from everyone around.

Typical colours and atmospheres are never forgotten by the lucky visitors that come around; easy to remember the heat, the sea, the blue sky.

People come to discover Sardinia as travellers but then they fall in love, every time they come back they discover new stories, traditions and beauties.

But I started talking about slow living, and Sardinia has a lot to do with it.

Everything here is slow, everyone has plenty of time to do what they like and enjoy. This is found in life expectancy as well.

The Blue Zone areas

In the last 20 years or so, scientists have started to talk about Blue Zone areas… Sardinia is part of it.

According to Wikipedia, Blue zones are regions of the world thought to have a higher than usual number of people who live much longer than average. They are:

Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece); and Loma Linda (California, USA)

As far as Sardinia is concerned, this might come from the rare genetic M26 marker, being an Island it has been easier to preserve it and keep it in the territory.

Clearly there is no single answer and we can’t simplify or generalise.

Most of our people run a very traditional healthy lifestyle. Times are changing of course, but sardinians still hunt, fish and harvest the food they eat.

We stay close with friends and family throughout our lives, we laugh and drink wine together. Every day there is a good occasion to celebrate.

Key elements for a long lasting life

Diet

The classic Sardinian diet consists of whole-grain bread, beans, garden vegetables and fruits.

A research found that sardinian centenarians mostly ate whole grains and meat was only consisting of 5% of their diet.

Put family first

Sardinia’s strong family values help assure that every member of the family is cared for.

It is obvious that people who live in strong, healthy families suffer lower rates of depression, suicide, and stress.

Take a walk

Sardinians walk and exercise, in general, and this is particularly true for shepherds.
They stay out all day and work to a great extent.

Drink a glass or two of red wine daily

Sardinians drink wine moderately, a glass or two of red wine on a daily basis.

Laugh with friends

They gather in the street each afternoon to laugh with and at each other. Laughter reduces stress and makes people happier…

This is what I could call an escape

I tried to escape from it, but I now understand that I belong to this place.

Everything here is slow, I hated it. I could not bear the slow pace everyone had in doing everything, weeks or months to complete a single task.

Italy is here, but Sardinia is like here.

I went to the UK, then in Denmark, the system was so much better in many cases, everything was functional and fast.

But then I came back for good, this is where I’m born and where I live with my family.

I don’t know if I will one day be a centenarian, the lifestyle is changing for us as well.

The blue zone area might just be gone with my grand dad generation, even small towns in the middle of nowhere have remained the same.

Young generations left and moved to the main cities, attracted by job opportunities and better lifestyles.

But for sure I know that over here there is a secret to a long life, it comes to us to decide whether we want to give it a chance or not.