Scientists have identified five areas in the world, so called “blue zones” where the longest living people live. The people who live in these areas have the same common exercise routine, and it involves a dog and a shovel, not a gym membership or a Peloton.
It turns out the longest living people on earth like to play in the garden. According to a recent article from CNBC, gardening provides you with some important benefits. First off, it's great exercise. Get outside and swing a pick axe around a bit and you’ll feel it. One of our IEP Urgent Care team members recently spent a day clearing brush and dead branches from a community nature area. Not only was he sore from a great workout, but he also felt relaxed from being in nature all day, and seeing the results of all his work was gratifying. Gardening gets you out in nature, and many studies have shown that this greatly reduces stress.
And with a bit of proficiency, you’ll eat the healthy natural food you grow!
Recently, Rebecca Norris, a reporter for Well+Good, started to exercise like the longest living people on earth. In addition to gardening, she did a lot more walking. There’s a lot of debate about what constitutes the optimal daily walking distance. 10,000 steps per day is somewhat arbitrary but walking at least 1-2 miles a day is a reasonable and healthy goal. Walking in nature is even better.
Walking with a dog adds even more fun to your daily walk. With a dog, you’ll have a daily routine which is great for both of you. In addition to the exercise, it’s a chance for both you and your pet to socialize with neighbors and fellow dog lovers. According to an article written by the American Heart Association, studies have shown that “dog owners may live longer than non-dog owners, are 31% less likely to die from heart attack or stroke, and having a dog makes it more likely for a person to reach their daily fitness goals.” So get a shovel, get a dog, and start living in your own healthy “blue zone”!