Epic Longevity: Old Age Secrets Around the World
Source: M Hicks/Flickr Even if you travel far and wide like history’s Ponce de Leon, you probably won’t find a veritable fountain of youth. But if you are in search of the secret to longevity, you may find several communities around the world who seem to hold an elixir of old age in their midst. What sparks longevity? You will find that those who have lived the longest tend to come from countries who prioritize balanced, clean plant-based diets and exist in healthy, more natural environments. People who live long and prosper also tend to exercise regularly, focus on family and self-care, and take time to slow down and enjoy things like napping and smelling the flowers. Although you won’t find a link between longevity and using a safe online casino instead of land-based one, add to your enjoyment of life and online slots with these fun facts about who lives longest in our world.
Longevity and Record-Breaking Ages
Based on public annals, the longest undisputed lifespan belongs to Sarah Knauss of the United States. Sarah was born in 1880 and lived to 119 years and 97 days. Jeanne Calment of France may have lived to 122 years and 164 days (born in 1875), but questionable evidence about her identity has disputed this claim about her age. The third oldest person was also a woman – Nabi Tajima. Tajima, born in 1900, was from Japan and lived to be 177 years and 260 days. Generally, women live longer than men and that truth is reflected in these longevity records. The oldest living man was Jiroemon Kimura (also from Japan), born in 1897. He lived to be 116 years and 54 days. Christian Mortensen, born 1882, lived to be 115 years and 252 days and was from the United States. With most of these people being born around the turn of the 20th century or a few years beforehand, the countries they most frequently hail from are France, the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. As new life expectancy rates are anticipated for 2030, you would be (maybe) shocked to know that the United States has now plummeted far down the list to 43rd place with a life expectancy of 78.6. This decline is due to suicide rates and drug use. Canada is tied with France for 17th place with an average life span of 81.9 years. Source: All Andorra
Chief Reasons for Longevity
Main contributing factors that seem to point to longevity include diet, environment, exercise, family and spirituality, and self-care. Read on to see if you incorporate these “magic” ingredients into your daily life.
Healthy, Clean Diet
Among the countries listed below, one salient factor is a healthy diet. The people who live the longest know that it is not a fad diet that keeps them alive longer, but a sustainable lifestyle. People who live in areas like Monaco (a principality in Western Europe) or San Marino (embedded in Italy) live mostly off a Mediterranean diet, by which they come naturally in their region. A Mediterranean diet is mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, healthy fats (like olive oil), and seafood, with a moderate smattering of poultry and dairy. People in these countries do not eat added sugar, refined grains, or heavily processed foods. Those countries who do not rely on the Mediterranean diet simply choose local, fresh food. Switzerland follows a mostly plant-based diet based on traditional recommendations for whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein. Singapore, Honk Kong, and Japan also rely mostly on soy proteins, local produce, and minimal animal protein to give them their famously long lives. If you are planning a vacation to any of these countries, make it a food tourism journey and learn to adopt their ways of healthy, clean living while embarking on an incredible adventure. You may also try a keto diet or vegan diet in your own community to boost your immune system, detox, and extend your life.
The Little Things
The “little things” quickly add up to big factors in terms of self-care. And self-care is essential to a long, healthy life. Many of these countries emphasise easily accessed healthcare and exceptional medical treatment. Even when medical care is still expensive, many countries known for longevity still provide free emergency services, ensuring that everyone gets care when they need it most. Plus, many of these countries also have a strong economy, affording residents basic human rights, such as medicine, a good-paying job, healthy food, regular family time, and access to gym memberships.
For some communities, exercise and outdoor experiences are a part of everyday life: idyllic mountains and tranquil lakes are perfect for hiking, rowing, walking, and cycling. People in these countries also know to prioritize taking the time to get out and move, substantially extending their lives every time they catch a little sun. Other communities with strong longevity also just prioritize exercise or make it easy for their citizens to access a gym, like in the Channel island of Guernsey. Whichever way you are able to get more exercise, learn from these countries that are living right and find a way to stay active. Easy ways to fit in heart-pumping cardio is through biking, running, walking to work, and living room Pilates workouts. You just have to prioritize and plan ahead.
Be a Steward to the Environment
Another major contributing factor to life expectancy is the environment you live in. Many countries known for producing centenarians are also known for clean, fresh air and minimal pollution. You can do your part to cut down on pollution and global warming by making several changes to your daily life. Main actions you can take today include being more mindful of your diet and the effect it has on the planet, recycling all recyclable items, reusing as many containers and materials as possible, cutting down on fossil fuels consumed for commuting, and drinking your water from the tap (with a filter) and not from plastic bottles.
Keeping Family and Spirituality Close
Look closely at the top ten countries and below and you will see that another factor they all share is spending time with families. The elderly are respected and taken care of in these countries. They engage in numerous daily activities alongside friends and family, from gardening to tai chi to playing cards outside on their porches (as is the tradition in Andorra). Many of these countries are also small, making it easy for families to connect and see each other often, adding to the overall enrichment of everyone’s lives. People in these communities also put emphasis on spirituality and religion, giving them something to believe and hope in, around which they can devote their lives. This generates happiness and a greater purpose for living. Source: Tim Trad/Unsplash
Top Ten Countries with the Highest Life Expectancies
Many countries in the world have been practicing these ideal “longevity ingredients” for a long life. You will find that many of them are in Europe, some are fairly unknown, and nearly all are considered a model for the good life. Discover them, learn from them, and see what habits you can integrate.
Average national life expectancy: 89.4 years. Monaco may be small, but it is mighty in life expectancy. The second smallest country in the world is also the source of the longest lifespans on earth. Technically called the Principality of Monaco, this tiny sovereign city-state and country flanks the French Riviera in Western Europe. Like many communities in Italy, Greece, and Spain, people of Monaco eat largely a Mediterranean diet and set aside time for relaxing outdoors. You will find these people are also very religious and focused on their families.
Average national life expectancy, 85.3 years. Although a jump down from Monaco, Japan has held fast as a source of long, healthy lives for centuries. The country is known for kampo medicinal herbs that have been used for more than 1500 years. Japanese residents also practice many forms of exercise that encourage relaxation and spirituality, including yoga and martial arts. The practice of Japanese meditation can also lead to enhanced mental alertness and relaxation, encouraging increased health and longevity. Ikigai, or reason for living, seems to be at the centre of the Japanese lifestyle. Even the food factors into eating to live – and not living to eat. Locals eat mostly substantial and healthy foods such as sweet potatoes and soy tofu. Largely plant-based, they limit meat intake. Specifically, Okinawa is known for holding the highest concentration of centenarians (those who live for more than 100 years) in the world. Women from Okinawa outlive anyone else on earth. 740 out of 1.3 million people are more than 100 years old and 90% of that population are women. A major factor that women credit their long lives to in Okinawa is their large groups of supportive friends.
Average national life expectancy, 85.2 years. In Singapore growing life expectancy numbers might be linked to increasing economic wealth. Seniors and families are also considered the top of communities in Singapore, which adds to the aging individual’s sense of importance and value. Seniors also stay active, from exercising to spending time in their gardens. Singapore is also known to have exemplary healthcare, which focuses on preventative care instead of simply prescribing medication as “band aids” for conditions.
Average national life expectancy, 84.6 years. Macau is located on China’s southern coast, just 60 kilometres west of Hong Kong. Small in land mass, Macau is home to the area’s most successful casino industry, which may make the country the richest territory in the world by 2020. As with Singapore, financial security allows people to be more relaxed, healthier, and live longer. Macau is also very focused on strong family structures, as are many societies in China. Those older in years are highly respected and cared for, which keeps those who are aging healthier and more hopeful (and happier) as they progress through the decades. The elderly also dedicate themselves to spending considerable amounts of time with their children, in turn helping raise their grandchildren, creating tight family units.
Average national life expectancy, 83.1 years. This ancient republic is also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. Any country with that title would have to produce some of the longest-living, happiest people in the world – and it does. Completely surrounded by Italy, this small microstate is a gorgeous pocket of paradise, built around Monte Titano. The sylvan, mountainous landscape is breath-taking and simple, the perfect backdrop for a good, long life. Like the diet of surrounding countries, those in San Marino feast mostly on a daily Mediterranean diet, along with handmade pasta. A strong agricultural influence results in an abundance of corn, wheat, grapes, and olives, meaning wine is also a staple. San Marino is also one of the 30 wealthiest countries in the world regarding per-capita income, adding to the financial security associated with longer life spans. Source: Pixabay
Average national life expectancy, 83.1 years. Happiness and a lack of violence go a long way towards a long life – just ask an Icelandic. Iceland is also the third healthiest country in the world, showing that diet helps with long-term wellbeing. The people of this country mostly just live off fresh seafood, meat, grass-fed cowmilk, and local produce. Iceland may be able to also chalk its high life expectancy rates up to its plethora of hot springs. These springs are thought to yield medicinal properties, helping maintain the mental health of the Icelandic people during the long, grey winter months.
Average national life expectancy, 83 years. You may not equate Hong Kong – a large, bustling republic – with a life expectancy comparable to that of these bucolic, simple communities. However, Hong Kongers pull it off. Despite the region’s thick pollution and chaotic environment, residents of Hong Kong make it as long as they do in life due to exercise. Like Japan, elders in Hong Kong often participate in martial arts like tai chi, invigorating both the body and mind, along with stimulating the cardiovascular system. A diet of steamed veggies and rice and medicinal herbal tea, along with exceptional public healthcare, keeps those in Hong Kong strong throughout their lives.
Average national life expectancy, 82.9 years. Andorra is another country that just looks like it would be a health haven, judging by the clean air, picturesque mountains, and outdoor-loving community. Alongside environmental factors, residents also thrive on healthy food and excellent medical care. They pay their health forward as well to the environment that gives them life. Situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains, these Andorrans are firmly dedicated to being great stewards of the earth, preserving the environment. They are also a very active people, hiking and skiing and walking or biking to commute. Andorra is also a very small principality, taking just 45 minutes to drive across the entire area. This allows the elderly to stay close to their friends and family, adding to extending their old age.
Average national life expectancy, 82.6 years. Another small, yet thriving community, Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. The island is wealthy, with just 65,000 residents, and has set up an oasis for those retiring and growing old. Most of Guernsey’s population can afford healthy food, gym access, great healthcare, and other essential self-care. Taxes are also low and salaries high. Guernsey is also known for having minimal pollution and the island life inspires happiness and security, along with the abundance of fresh air and relaxing nature.
Average national life expectancy, 82.6 years. Switzerland is known for its neutrality in conflict and war, making it a very peaceful country. Perhaps this peace and relaxing lifestyle espoused by the Swiss is why 95% of men in this country live to at least 80. A balanced diet also helps – they typically eat recommended daily proportions of 40% whole-grain carbs, 40% vegetables, and 20% lean protein. The Swiss also have strong economic fecundity, which is a common facet of these countries that promote longevity. A wealthy population makes it much easier for citizens to choose healthy foods and access medical care, instead of subsisting on subpar nutrition and assistance. Switzerland is also listed as one of the top five happy countries, outlining clearly what humans need for basic happiness and health.
Be Like These Countries
In Canada, you may not have island sun or pure mountain air at your disposal, every minute of the day. However, you do live in a country with model healthcare and a community that cares about happiness and human rights. Take a cue from these top ten countries that promote the longest, fullest lives and enhance your own future with a few lifestyle changes. That way you can enjoy online slots and poker at the best online casino in Canada, along with maximizing your other pastimes that make life memorable. Interested in Health? You may also like: https://ca.royalvegascasino.com/blog/6-ways-to-fit-more-exercise-into-your-hustle/.