How to Find Ikigai to Stay Healthy after the Age of 60


The Ikigai Diet and Bio-Hacking


Ikigai is one of the factors of centenarians living long in Blue Zones. Therefore, you want to find Ikigai for your longevity. Ikigai means your daily joys or pleasures that motivate you to live and it can be anything as long as you find joys in them.

Having said that, there are certain Ikigais that support your health and others which don’t have anything to do with your physical well-being.

If you make a sporting activity your Ikigai, it can promote your health, but drawing or any other more sedentary activities don’t necessarily invigorate your physical condition.

They, too, can stimulate your brain so that it can prevent dementia, and they give you a sense of purpose to keep going, so it is still good to have them as your Ikigais.

Yet, it is beneficial if you can find at least one Ikigai that can revitalize your physical state.

Exercises such as Nordic walking, bodyweight HIIT, Qi-Gong, and mountain climbing can be great Ikigais for that. I go Nordic walking every morning and I just can’t start a day without it. It has become my Ikigai now.

Challenging enough but not too hard

I recommend Nordic walking a lot, especially to people over 60 because it is fun and relaxing. When you go running, on the other hand,  sometimes you feel reluctant to do it because of the initial pain. You need to pull yourself together to get changed and do a little stretching and start running. Your legs are heavy in the beginning.  With Nordic walking, you don’t have to change into gym clothes, it is just like walking to a nearby post office or store.

Sauna and cold bath or cold shower cycling is another moderate activity compared to ice bath plunge. With the ice bath plunge, the pain is too big to make some of us have reservations. Sauna and cold bath( around 61 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit) cycling are comfortable enough for us to enjoy it, and it can become our Ikigai more easily.

The key is to make it a habit and continue doing it regularly, so the easier the better.

Having a purpose

Gardening can be a good Ikigai, too. You may not call it an exercise, but it is a great workout. It also has other pleasures than just exercise; touching the soil and watching how plants grow. You can also look forward to the harvest. Yes, you have a purpose there. You are not doing it just for the sake of a workout.

Liver King says that it is good to workout before eating because that is how hunters and gatherers lived, they had to hunt to get their food and that is programmed in our DNA. Therefore doing the types of exercises similar to hunting, you prepare your metabolism to consume food.

If that is the case, gardening can function as a premeal workout. Even though it is a lifestyle of farming tribes, the act of producing food is part of our nature, and gardening or farming is the most basic part of our wildness in the post paleolithic age. When you participate in any form of food acquisition, you automatically awaken the wild side of yourself.  Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, the founder of a natural farming method called Shizenno, once said to his student that farming was a survival act when the student asked him about killing insects on the plant. Either they or you get the food, don’t hesitate.

So, instead of mimicking the hunt, why not engage in actual labor to obtain food?

Having a purpose other than just working out is easier to make it your Ikigai.

Intermittent fasting can be your Ikigai, too, particularly if you practice Hare and Ke Intermittent Fasting. Again, it has a purpose. You practice intermittent fasting only during the week and your goal is to complete it each week. When Friday afternoon comes you can celebrate your accomplishment, and it becomes your Ikigai.

Mountain climbing also has a goal in that sense. Reaching the summit is your goal. A lot of people in Japan have mountain climbing as their Ikigai.

Setting a big goal for your activity

As far as setting a goal is concerned, you can set a goal for any activity. When you go Nordic walking, each day’s walk doesn’t have a goal, but you can set a goal once every few months or so. You will climb a mountain, go trekking, or challenge any other longer walks.

If you run for your exercise, you can take part in a marathon race or a half marathon race once a year or so.

The goals can be your Ikigais and they can motivate you to do your daily workout. They can stimulate you mentally, which affects your gut health, hence wellness.

Ikigai Bio-Hacking can be the best Ikigai

Of course, you can make Ikigai Bio-Hacking your Ikigai, and that is the best. Some people are hooked on biohacking, and it is more than their hobby. They live for biohacking.

I am, too. It is fun to do intermittent fasting every day and even HIIT is enjoyable. It is hard but I feel fulfilled doing pushups and situps, thinking that I am getting stronger. I enjoy occasional mountain climbing and sauna, too. Not to mention daily Natto eating and fermented brown rice eating. Doing several different activities are better in a way because they don’t become mundane. Each time you feel fresh and excited. They stimulate your body, mind, and spirit all at the same time.

So, if you want to find Ikigai to stay healthy after the age of 60, be an Ikigai Bio-Hacker.



The Ikigai Diet and Bio-Hacking