Japan Knows The Secret To A Long Life
Do you want to know the secret to a long life? Japan has all the answers! The Asian nation has one of the world’s highest average life expectancy at 83.7 years — that's almost 15 years longer than the average Russian lives. Over half of Japanese baby girls born today will live into their 90s. In fact, five of the 15 oldest people ever were from Japan. So what is Japan's secret? Is there anything we can change in our own lives? Here are 6 reasons why Japanese live so long!
1. Japanese Diet
Compared to Western diets, Japanese eat less red meat, instead opting for more fish, tofu, vegetables and fresh foods. This makes Japanese cuisine highly nutritious and low in cholesterol. Food preparation involves plenty of steaming, slow-cooking and fermenting, in favor of fried and processed foods that can cause health problems.
2. Squat Toilets
16 Until recently, squat toilets were a common sight throughout Japan. The technique involves less straining, lowering the stress on the heart. Conversely, sitting can result in constipation, IBS and hemorrhoids. At worst, this unnatural position can even lead to colon cancer. Though Japan is phasing out squat toilets, there are other alternatives. Use a footstool to get into the right position when you need to go.
3. Smaller Plates
Food in Japan is usually served on small plates. With smaller portions, Japanese tend not to overeat and get fat. Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world, preventing many illnesses associated with this medical condition. Try eating smaller portions and watch the weight fall off!
4. Less Sitting
Many Japanese walk, bike or take the train to get around. Schoolchildren also engage in raijo taiso - morning group exercise. This means Japanese are active for longer periods of the day. Studies show a link between more sitting and a higher likelihood of early death. Try getting up from your desk more often and go for a quick stroll.
5. Family Time
Elderly parents often live with their oldest child. Having their family around provides parents with a psychological boost, giving them purpose and encouraging them to live longer. So spending more time with loved ones may give you a few more years.
6. Universal Healthcare
In Japan, all residents have healthcare coverage by law. The standard of medical treatment is also extremely high. Potential health issues are often identified early, as Japanese go to the doctor four times more often than Americans.
As you can see, small changes can have a big impact on your longevity. Eating the right foods and being more active is something we can all do. With sensible choices, you could increase your life expectancy by 5 to 10 years. Long live Japan, long live you!