Mediterranean diet and physical activity: some tips for healthy living and aging well
EDoes the elixir of life exist? It is not really an elixir, but there are small but important ways to deal in the best way with the years that pass, and the consequent changes that the body feels, to live long...in health.
Aging well is the consequence of an essential combination: randomness and will. We can only intervene on the will by making healthy choices that give us long life expectancy.
It is necessary to have a healthy lifestyle and in order to do so you have to start from the nutrition.
Since ancient times, hypotheses had been made about the link between diet and health: Ludwig Feuerbach, a German philosopher of the 19th century, has made the famous statement "we are what we eat". Nowadays there was never more confirmed than Feuerbach’s affirmation! Our body is a machine in every way, feeding it with the right fuel will determine its correct functionality and consequently its durability.
First of all it is necessary to pay attention to the body mass index (BMI), in order to maintain the right weight shape and not run risks for our health due to excessive body weight.
To do this it is important to have a healthy diet that follows the main principles of the Mediterranean diet, with portions that are not rich and excessive - to which we are all too often accustomed - but rather varied and healthy meals based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, seasonal and fresh foods, even cooked but never overcooked, so as not to produce chemical alterations that could modify the properties of the food with effects, in the long term, harmful to our health.
Foods to avoid and bad habits:
- Reduce the intake of sugars (including sweetened drinks), always choosing water for a proper hydration,
- Smoking is ranked at the top of the causes of death (remembering that passive smoking is harmful in the same way if not more),
- excessive consumption of alcohol,
- exposure to toxic substances, including smog.
Good eating habits and more:
- The extra virgin olive oil,protagonist of the Mediterranean diet, has numerous beneficial effects recently observed in the scientific literature.
- A healthy diet, as said, following the meditteranean diet is the basis of a healthy lifestyle, but it is not enough.
- A moderate but constant physical activity to make the best use of leisure time.
For these reasons, doing physical activity and/or long daily walks, possibly outdoors out of urban centres and pollution, in places where you can breathe more oxygen and less smog, would also help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Avoiding a sedentary life predisposes us to establish new social relationships, enriching our knowledge.
It has been found that interpersonal relationships increase longevity: going out regularly with friends would reduce stress and help us to have a better mood, a positive, optimistic attitude, and therefore a mental wellbeing.
To quote Jim Morrison "life is like a mirror: it smiles at you if you look at it smiling": maintaining a positive approach to lifewaking up in the morning in a good mood with commitments that allow us to spend time in close contact with other people, pursuing friendships and setting goals - whether professional and/or personal - are the first step to achieve the mental wellbeing that "commands" physical wellbeing. In fact, a positive and optimistic attitude limits the production of cortisol (stress hormone) and promotes the production of antibodies that strengthen our immune system, thus also influencing physical wellbeing.
A correct diet for a balanced BMI, healthy social relationships to keep our mood up, daily goals and/or commitments to maintain our brain active and an adequate physical activity: these are the secret to live a long and healthy life.