Better Living and Longevity: Moving Naturally, The Blue Zone Way

by | Feb 27, 2024 | Medical Wellness

Following the previous article published on Better Living and Longevity: Active Lifestyle, The Blue Zone Way, this article introduces a number of ways to inject more physical activities into our everyday lives. 

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One of Dan Buettner’s “Power 9®” principles revolves around moving naturally as part of an active lifestyle. Practised as part of the blue zones’ residents’ daily routine, moving naturally in a nutshell simply means making the best of everyday moments to be physically active. 

Research has reported that in many societies, more than 40% of the adult population and growing numbers of children in the Asia Pacific region are insufficiently physically active to safeguard their health, contributing to high rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other deleterious health outcomes across the region. 

Make a Conscious Effort to Walk More

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine found that walking at a brisk pace was associated with a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. Regular walking was also linked to lower blood pressure, which are important markers of cardiovascular health. So, why not consider walking to your neighbourhood grocery store, diner or simply put on those shoes for relaxing stroll after a meal? 

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Take the Stairs Instead

If you are not in a hurry to get to your next destination, then perhaps making an effort to take the stairs at the subway station or the shopping mall could benefit your health over the long run. Unlike some forms of exercise that may require special equipment or a specific environment, stairs are often readily available and can be incorporated into daily routines, making them a convenient option for staying active. Regular stair climbing can enhance your overall stamina and endurance, paving the way for a fitter you. 

Gardening as a Pastime

Gardening involves a range of movements such as bending, lifting, and it utilises our arm muscles well through various hand-eye coordination movements (the control of eye and hand movements and the process in which they work together) such as weeding, pruning etc. Being connected with nature by spending time to tend to your plants can be a good way to unwind after a long day’s work as this mindful aspect can be therapeutic, reducing stress and promoting a sense of relaxation. Interested readers in nature’s healing powers can read more on how nature can improve our overall wellbeing here.

Household Chores as Exercise

How about the prospect of cutting down your electricity bills and improving your health? Well, the answer is obvious – turn household chores into a mini workout session. Vacuuming, sweeping, wiping down furniture, and mopping can be effective ways to engage your core muscles with natural physical motions. For example, when we wash our clothes by hand, we are utilising our upper body muscle groups through the actions of scrubbing, wringing, and lifting (heavy) wet clothes. These actions engage muscles in the arms, shoulders, and upper back, helping to tone and strengthen these muscle groups, mimicking our bodies’ natural movements to promote functional fitness for everyday activities. 

As we adopt a more conscious effort to introduce more natural, physical movements in our busy routine, getting exercise regularly suddenly doesn’t sound like a far-fetched goal for busy urban dwellers. Inspired to lead a more active lifestyle? Start with small, bite-sized physical activity goals, and with constant practice, your body will thank you for it in the long run. 

Embarking on any fitness program is a positive step toward enhancing your health and wellbeing. However, it is crucial to prioritise your safety and consider individual health conditions before starting a new exercise routine. Therefore, it is highly advisable to consult with your physician or healthcare professional before initiating any fitness programs. 


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