How can we leverage the idea of a "Blue Zone" to become more healthy and active?
After reading the Blue Zone Solutions book I started thinking about how this idea of living in an area that promoted health vs thwarting it could be applied to our own lives. The Blue Zone idea is simple:
There are regions of the world where the healthiest people live. Determining what these people do creates the idea of a healthy region. Most of the people who live there live longer, healthier lives.
America overall is NOT a healthy blue zone! We are inundated with unhealthy food choices everywhere – on TV, in our grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and so on. This is an indicator of being unhealthy because we are a product of our environment.
So how do we change this? Most of us do not want to leave America, right? Well, a great place to start is with your environment - which includes your home and friends.
Creating a blue zone at home begins by filling your home with healthier food choices. Do not be enticed to buy harmful food, but instead, fill your home with fruits, veggies, living greens, and smart beverages such as tea and non-dairy milks. Then when faced with making a choice for dinner, the default will be the healthy choices because that is all there is to choose from. As humans it is much easy to make unhealthy choices:
· It might taste better
· it may be easier to eat – think of French fries
· You’re rushed and you grab something on the go
Your friends can help: This is the fun stuff! Challenge your friends to create their own blue zones. Spend time working out together (walking, running, biking, etc.), eating at healthy restaurants together, and encourage each other to be accountable for their choices and actions. If your friends do not want to play along, then maybe you need to change your friends! As a runner for example, I tend to hang out with other runners. As a group we tend to be healthier, make better food choices and choose to be very active.
Your Environment: This area is open to your own creativity. Environments include work, shopping, where you hang out, etc. When you are at work, bring your own food. Walk during lunch, use a standing desk, make it a point to surround yourself with healthier options.
Social media groups: I have found through my own experience that it is fairly easy to influence others around you if you share your ideas, goals, and successes.
In the end, you can change the world around you. Be the example, have fun, and encourage others to join you.
I promise you won't regret it.......