Rice harvesting is beginning in my neighborhood. The scenery will soon change around here.
On Monday, I talked about moving to a place that can help you live longer. Today, I would like to discuss how to design a healthy living environment in the place where you live.
In the video I shared with you yesterday, Four Commonalities among Japanese Blue Zones, I talked about the longevity factors common to Okinawa, Nagano, and Shiga.
1, Satoyama Lifestyle
2, Community Support
4, Washoku Diet
So. the idea is if you can incorporate these elements in your life and living environment, you can live longer.
If you live in a city, it is more difficult to lead a satoyama lifestyle, but you can find community gardens or try rooftop gardening. As far as exercises are concerned, there are many things you can do in cities. Sometimes it is easier to use public transportation in urban areas, and you can cycle to many places if you live on flat land. While hilly towns can make you walk up and down, it is more difficult to cycle.
You can create your own community. In the Ikigai Diet book, I told you to create your social circle by sharing the ikigai diet, it was in Chapter 12 Adding Hygge to the Japanese Diet. You can start having weekend dinner parties where you cook dished based on the concept of the ikigai diet, and invite your friends and neighbors. If you want to create a healthy community in your neighborhood, it is better to involve neighbors as much as possible.
You can set up a study group where you study autophagy, gut microbiomes, and nutrition and share recipes. You can set up an exercise group, too. You can go Nordic walking together or do HIIT together. Or you can incorporate both of them into one group where you support one another’s wellness.
Do you know about Transition Town? It is a movement to transform your town to be more environmentally friendly. Its aim is to tackle the problem of climate change, but you can do a similar thing aiming to build a long-living community.
Both Nagano and Shiga worked toward longevity as prefectures. They encouraged the residents to change their diet, take part in sporting activities, and engage in volunteer activities. You can promote that at the municipal level or community level.
When you set up a social group to support one another’s health or a transition town of longevity, that itself can be your Ikigai and the members’ Ikigai. You can also set up a group to find ikigais together.
In the case of Japanese Blue Zones, they have Washoku diet, but you don’t have to eat the Japanese way. The idea is a gut-friendly diet. In other words, the ikigai diet since it is a gut-friendly diet of each local region. You can organize dinner parties as I said before, or you can even promote restaurants serving autophagy-friendly and gut-friendly menus. There are vegan restaurants or organic restaurants, but they are not necessarily covering gut-friendly ingredients. You also want to think of people who practice intermittent fasting. When you practice 16 hours or 17 hours fasting by skipping breakfast, what you have for lunch becomes especially important. That is the reason I never eat out for lunch. I make my own lunch. But if there were restaurants that can serve a meal catering to my needs, I would go.
I would add another factor to longevity, that is the positive mentality I covered in the book in Chapter 15 Ikigai Mindset. You can condition yourself to think positive and do things like Shinon Kansha meditation, and yet, it is better if you can do it as a community. How you have conversations can affect your mentality. If your friends are always complaining things, you end up feeling negative, don’t you? You want to help others to think positively and shift your conversations. Again you can set up a group for it. Or, you can organize some comedy shows to create laughter in your community. Dance parties with the 70s or 80s oldies would be good, too. The music reminds you of your youth, and cheer you up.
The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity