Compared to the rest of the world, Japan has a very high population of people who are over 100 years old. How do they do it? Is there a big secret as to how they are living so long over in Japan? Well here we will discuss some of the significant aspects of life in Japan that probably have a very positive effect on lifespan and that you too can implement in your life.
Compared to the diet people eat typically in the west, the average Japanese person consumes approximately 25% fewer calories. Many studies have shown that even small reductions in caloric intake can extend the lifespan and help prevent adverse effects on the liver and the body in general.
Not only does the Japanese diet include fewer calories, but it also has some key components that are included that each brings positive effects on health. Fish is much more popular in Japan than in western society – 10% of the world’s fish supplies are eaten there, despite Japan only being home to 2% of the world’s population. Eating fish reduces the risk of heart disease, and fatty fish can help prevent cancer. Another food popular in Japan but not the rest of the world is seaweed, with 100,000 tons being eaten there over a year. Seaweed is high in protein and potassium. It also contains iodine which is good for the thyroid.
In Japanese culture, the connection between healthy mind and body is much better realized than in the West. They often have a greater sense of purpose due to a popular philosophy that is known as ‘ikigai’, meaning ‘reason for being’. They believe that once you discover your own ikigai, after a long period of self reflection, you will have the greatest satisfaction and your life will have true meaning. A large part of this can come from owning another living thing like a pet as having concern for the life of another will reduce your own stress.
Karaoke is big business in Japan, with big chains of karaoke places across the country. Some studies have shown that singing and spending time socially, both big aspects of karaoke, have positive effects on the health of the cardiovascular system. Also, the deep breathing from singing also helps the nervous system. So get belting that Britney!
Traditional Japanese homes have much less furniture than houses in the West. Meals are eaten sat on the floor, and this is where people sit together to socialize. The constant movement of getting up and down is good for balance and maintaining strength. This helps to protect the body from falls which can be dangerous in your elder years. Gardening and spending time outside is also popular which exposes the body to more vitamin D which can help to increase bone strength.
Another significant term in Japan is ‘moai’ which refers to the support of friendship that can help us through hard times. Japanese is a very respectful and supportive culture, especially towards the elderly. This support helps to reduce the levels of stress in life and in turn, improves the lifespan.
These are some of the best tips and aspects prominent in the Japanese lifestyle. Try adopting some to help you live a long and happy life.