LOOK BEFORE BLUE LEAP
I'm blue da ba dee da ba die
According to Nat Geo Fellow and author Dan Buettner, there are five cities around the world where a majority of locals celebrate their 100th birthday like it's NBD. Buettner refers to these regions as “Blue Zones,” and they include: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. P.S. Thinking about how the current average lifespan for Americans, by comparison, is 78 has us...shook.
Fountain of youth
In his book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest, Buettner reports that all Blue Zones, aka the “power 9” (sounds like the next Avenger movie, right?) populations eat 95 percent plant-based and consume meat fewer than five times monthly, which is one of the key factors that has led to this remarkable longevity. But hold up, this isn’t The Game Changers part 2 (ICYMI: more on that here). Buettner’s study also reported that there’s more to longevity than just kale. People in Blue Zones tend to spend more time with close friends, move through their day with a sense of purpose, and have excellent stress-management practices. For example, for Sardinians, that means a glass of wine and a chat with friends each evening. Too blessed to be stressed.
So what does that mean for the rest of us?
Some serious (plant-based) food for thought. In other words, how we can apply lessons from the Blue Zones into our diet and daily routines stat. At the top of the list is the idea of giving up processed foods in favor of natural ones, as well as only eating when hungry. You can find more on living your best Blue Zone life (including recipes), right hurr.
Admittedly, the Blue Zone diet can be sort of vagueCritics say that the truth about the Blue Zones is that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Living a long, healthy life requires a ton of factors coming together and simply mimicking the habits of those in these regions is not a guarantee of making it to the centenarian club. Damn it.
Keep calm and carry on
The key takeaway here is the Blue Zone is a comprehensive way of approaching life that involves a combination of holistic elements, including being mindful about your diet (I.E., eating mostly plants) hanging out with your BFF, and feeling that sunshine on your face and/or whatever relaxes you, makes you smile, and reduces stress. Whether it guarantees kicking it as oldies or not, these all sound like some pretty great ideas if you ask us.
A TALE OF TWO WORKOUTS
The never-ending debate rages on.
No, not the 2020 presidential election. The debate over what type of exercise is better for your body—high-intensity or low-intensity training? TBH the answer is more complicated than when you’re kind of hanging out with your ex but you’re not technically back together but you would also be really upset if you saw him with someone else but you’re not even sure you want the relationship anymore. The bottom line is...it’s complicated and totally depends on your individual goals and how your body responds to exercise on a given day.
I’m busy. Break it down for me.
High-Intensity Training: Benefits include a spiked heart rate, which forces the body to increase all its functions at a super-fast rate. HIIT can produce many of the same health benefits as other forms of exercise – but in a much shorter time frame. Examples of HITT include: burpees, interval sprints on the treadmill, and tabata.
Low-Intensity Training: Can also lower body fat and increase your metabolism, but it’s all about gradual increase in strength and muscular endurance without putting stress on the joints. Examples of LITT include: yoga, walking, and pilates.
Team Low Intensity
“Something very powerful shifts within when you learn how to slow down your workouts by moving your body with more intention and less focus on the intensity of the movements,” says trainer Melissa Wood, founder of the #MWH method, a series of low-impact movements that combine yoga and pilates. “You'll start to realize when you move your body in a precise way, it effortlessly becomes more intense without pounding your body into the ground. I recommend practicing this way of life 7 days a week if possible. Even if it's not my workouts, getting movement in somewhere (just a walk or playing with your kids can count as movement) and a daily meditation is where you'll see long lasting results. I think people are so obsessed with instant gratification without actually doing the work. When you implement this practice into your lifestyle, you'll experience shifts in your mind and body beyond anything you could have imagined which is honestly what keeps me coming back.”
Team High Intensity
According to trainer Kenny Santucci, the many benefits to training HIIT include:
1. Faster results - rest periods in HIIT allow you to train with heavier weights as your body can recover during these designated periods.
2. Time efficiency.
3. Better strength- you can build muscular and cardiovascular strength at the same time.
4. Improved circulation due to the fluctuation between ramped-up heart rate and rest.
5. Afterburn- the high-intensity level of such workouts requires you to use more oxygen not only during, but also post-sweat session, resulting in calories burned when you're no longer working out
Hmmm. So which to choose?
DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
We’ll save you a Google search.
See you later, Spanx.
LD (to clarify, that’s Lymphatic Drainage, not Lil Dicky) fans say the massage is great for pain relief, digestive problems, hormonal imbalances, cellulite, and a long-ass list of other issues. Oh, and if you’re looking to get rid of extra water weight asap, it’s been known to be winning for that, too. P.S. There are two versions of lymphatic massages, the traditional massage, which uses gentle strokes (think: lighter than a Swedish massage) and the lymphatic sculpting massage, which uses a deeper pressure.
Is LD right for me?
Paging Dr Singh. “Lymphatic massages can be quite helpful,” he explains. Research shows that this technique can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from lymphedema, but it’s still tough to say what sort of effect LD has on the general population who might not require the massage for medical purposes and are seeking it more for aesthetics. But, hey, if it relaxes you, puts an extra pep in your step, and works for your budget, then enjoy, boo.
BURN, BABY, BURN
So hot right now.
What does being ‘burnt out’ really mean?
And what if I feel all those things?
I’m good, thanks.
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