You can be healthy and fit at an advanced age anywhere you live, but being over a hundred and still being able to take care of oneself is not very rare in Japan. Japanese individuals seem to age more gracefully so there must be something about their place and culture which makes it very ideal for retiring. Here are why these people might be the healthiest ones on earth:
They Have the Highest Life Expectancy
Japanese have the highest life expectancies of any race on earth. The average life expectancy is around 83.7 years for a Japanese person. Just recently, they again hit another milestone as a recent survey discovered that there was more than two million number of Japanese people who were aged 90 or older. You might wonder if their water system is secretly connected to the fountain of youth, but there actually are no secrets to their longevity which can be mainly attributable to their environment and diet.
Japanese people eat a diet which is lean and balanced and mainly consists of fish, whole grains, seafood and very little preservatives and processed well. All of those preservatives which science has linked to several health issues are absent in the Japanese diet.
Very Few Japanese are Obese
This healthy approach to eating is also very visible as very few Japanese people are obese. Only 3.5 percent of the population is considered obese. It goes without saying that obesity is a lethal killer and is prevalent in many other cultures and it has been linked from everything to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Westerners who visit Japan might get frustrated about how small their servings are, but this is how they do it in Japan. They use smaller plates and this is why they have their portions in smaller sizes. This curtails their appetite and this makes them eat just as much as they need.
They Have a Really Good Healthcare System
Their longevity is not solely attributable to their healthy diet. They also have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Such combines advanced medical knowledge and equipment as well as with an accessible public and private hybrid model that will let the government shoulder around 70 percent of the cost of procedures. Japan’s healthcare budget gets around 9.5 of their GDP.
The government also takes a very active part in caring for its citizens. Recently, its efforts on suicide prevention have seen very impressive results. In 2012, the number of suicides in the country fell below 30,000 for the first time since 1998.
Exercise is a Part of their Daily Activity
For the Japanese, exercising is just as important as eating, brushing their teeth or taking a bath. Living a very active lifestyle is very typical for Japanese and in fact, around 98 percent of Japanese children either walk or bike to school. This only shows that Japanese children get a recommended 60 minutes of exercise daily just by going to school and back.
Even older members of their population are pretty active. The preferred mode of transport in Japan is always walking or biking. Some do not even consider this exercise and take it a step further by working out more.
They Are Wired for Longevity
Some studies say that the longevity of Japanese people might simply be because they have genes that are built for it. Two genes have been found to be prevalent amongst them. The first is DNA 5178 which is what helps individuals against adult-onset diseases such as several heart and brain diseases. The second in ND2-237Met genotype and has been found to confer resistance to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular atherogenic diseases.
Japanese individuals are more likely than any other to have these genes. However, the gene game is like playing the lottery as some receive more than others.
If you want to live a long, healthy and fruitful life, it might be time for you to ditch that fast-food lifestyle and go for a seafood and plant-based diet. You might also want to consider biking or walking to work instead of taking your car or commuting. What do you think of the Japanese approach to aging? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!