Okinawa – The Island of Longetivity

We all strive to have a healthy and long life. However, with all pressures of the modern lifestyle; working hard to get good grades, struggling to get better jobs and juggling family responsibilities can be hard on anyone. Together with eating either too little or too much food can affect our health and can cause complications such as heart disease.

But on the Japanese island of Okinawa, natives live a healthy lifestyle that enable them to live more than 100 years. Their secret is an active social life and a strong sense of ikigai. The ikigai is the Japanese concept of a meaningful purpose of life. Psychologist Michiko Kumano described ikigai as “actions of devoting oneself to pursuits one enjoys and is associated with feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment.”

In their book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, the authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles explored the natives’ lifestyle. The natives maintain a strict diet consisting of vegetables and antioxidant foods in small amounts. They eat till when they are 80% full and carry out low-intensity exercises.

The locals grow their own vegetables and eat fresh food. They have also kept many of the Japanese traditions alive despite their growing age. They believe being social, not worrying about material things and having an active life is the key to a longer and healthier life. It is also equally important to connect with nature and have good relations with others which is hard to find in the modern world.

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