Dan Buettner is the founding father of Blue Zones. Blue Zones is a company dedicated to serving to folks stay longer, higher lives by sharing the teachings of the longest-lived cultures. You will have heard about him lately as he now stars in a brand new NetFlix series, Stay to 100, Secrets and techniques of the Blue Zones. In episode 1 he travels to the Japanese island of Okinawa to find out about Ikigai.

Nonetheless, the Okinawans even have many traditions that show confirmed ideas for an extended and blissful life. Under we dive into the ideas of: ikigai, moai, hara hachi bu, and extra.

Who Are the Okinawans and What Do They Know About Longevity?

Okinawa is an island South of mainland Japan the place the East China Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s a stunning tropical place with among the world’s longest residing people. On common, males stay till 84 and girls till 90. There are additionally a really excessive focus of centenarians – people who find themselves 100 or extra. Most surprisingly maybe is that even the oldest Okinawans are thought-about wholesome and have the emotional, bodily and mental capability to stay and performance independently.

So, what’s their secret? Researchers say that the Okinawan secrets and techniques embody: ikigai, moai and hara hachi bu.

Let’s discover out what these intriguing phrases imply.

What’s Ikigai?

Google interprets ikigai from Japanese to English as “cause to stay.” And, that is in all probability an excellent, if easy, description.

Residing an extended life does appear to require having a way of function effectively into previous age. A minimum of one international study discovered that individuals who have a way of function in life are at decrease threat of loss of life and coronary heart illness. Those that really feel function typically have more healthy life. And, they’re extra motivated and resilient, which protects them from stress and burnout.

So, how do you determine your ikigai / cause to stay?


The Japanese assemble of ikigai describes the intersection of what you’re keen on, what you might be good at, what the world wants and what you may get paid for.

Different important qualities of ikigai:

  • It’s difficult to you. Your ikigai needs to be one thing that it’s essential to attempt to grasp.
  • Ikigai is your alternative, not one thing foist upon you.
  • It includes dedication from you

Listed below are just a few assets for studying extra about ikigai:

What’s Moai?

In Japanese, moai refers to a bunch of lifelong associates. It additionally means a social help group that gives social, monetary, well being or religious pursuits.

The idea of moai is being popularized in america by Buettner.

An article on the Blue Zones web site describes moai in Okinawa like this:

The time period originated tons of of years in the past as a way of a village’s monetary help system. Initially, moais had been shaped to pool the assets of a whole village for tasks or public works. If a person wanted capital to purchase land or handle an emergency, the one means was to pool cash domestically. In the present day the thought has expanded to change into extra of a social help community, a cultural custom for built-in companionship.

In small neighborhoods throughout Okinawa, associates “meet for a standard function” (generally every day and generally a pair days every week) to gossip, expertise life, and to share recommendation and even monetary help when wanted. They name these teams their moai.

Historically, teams of about 5 younger youngsters had been paired collectively and it’s then that they made a dedication to one another for all times. As their second household, they’d meet commonly with their moai for each work and play and to pool assets. Some moais have lasted over 90 years!

You won’t be capable of have a moai within the strictest translation, however it is best to attempt to have a detailed knit set of associates and meet commonly.

What’s Hara Hachi Bu?

In comparison with ikigai and moai, hara hachi bu is tremendous easy and comparatively simple to use to your life.

Hara hachi bu is a dietary rule that claims that it is best to eat till you might be 80% full. By limiting your consumption to close, however not fairly saturation, you might be consuming fewer energy, however not lower than you really want.

You see, your mind is about 10-20 minutes behind your abdomen. So, once you cease consuming once you really feel 80% full, you might be really full. Practising hara hachi bu, the typical Okinawan man consumes only one,800 energy a day, in comparison with a mean American who eats nearer to 2,500 energy.

Different Lengthy Life Classes from the Okinawans

Researchers imagine that ikigai, moai and hara hachi bu are three large causes the Okinawans stay such lengthy and wholesome lives.

Different contributors embody:

Plant Primarily based, Extremely Assorted Weight loss program: The Okinawans eat far more greens than most individuals (principally inexperienced and yellow ones), in addition to entire grains, tofu, fish and different legumes. They eat little or no sugar, and little or no meat, dairy or eggs.

In a CNN interview with Sanjay Gupta, Craig Willcox, the creator of the ebook the “Okinawa Program“, defined that the Okinawans “sometimes eat seven completely different vegatables and fruits and 18 completely different meals a day, and greater than 200 completely different meals and spices commonly of their total weight loss plan. In america, we’re fortunate to eat a dozen completely different meals in our common every day weight loss plan, whole.”

The vegetarian weight loss plan is inherently stuffed with anti-oxidants, flavonoids, fiber, vitamins and is of course decrease calorie and anti-inflammatory.

Exercise: Staying energetic doesn’t imply working 10 miles a day or sweating it out within the fitness center. The Okinawan thought of train is making bodily exercise part of day-after-day life.

Nearly all Okinawans are energetic walkers and gardeners. Gardening is a every day bodily exercise that encourages a variety of mobility. Okinawans are additionally extra apt to stroll, trip bikes and even take part in martial arts. Moreover, their properties have very restricted furnishings and so they eat their meals sitting on tatami mats on the ground. Getting up and down from the bottom will increase flexibility and power.

Sunshine: Resulting from their tropical locale and energetic outside way of life, Okinawans profit from yr lengthy publicity to vitamin D.

Exterior Journal lately requested, “Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?” It seems that folks with low ranges of vitamin D — the hormone made by our pores and skin with the assistance of daylight — have considerably larger charges of just about each illness and dysfunction you may consider. And, vitamin D dietary supplements merely don’t have the constructive well being results as publicity to the solar itself.

Whereas pores and skin most cancers is a threat of solar publicity, it could be a lesser evil than lack of vitamin D.

Listed below are just a few concepts for find out how to make a sunnier climate a retirement reality.

Make Longevity an Necessary Facet of Your Retirement Planning

You don’t understand how lengthy you’ll stay, however the reply to this query might be an essential facet of planning for a safe future.

Within the NewRetirement Planner you may check out completely different life expectations to see in case your financial savings will final. Nonetheless, it will also be a good suggestion to discover methods to have enough lifetime revenue – revenue that lasts so long as you do – irrespective of how lengthy that seems to be. Lifetime revenue sources embody Social Safety and a few pensions. You too can flip financial savings into assured lifetime revenue by means of the acquisition of a lifetime annuity.

The instrument is right for planning as a result of it covers a complete set of data related to retirement and allows you to customise every little thing.


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