Diet, exercise, a sense of purpose for living, plus close relationships all point to the Ikaria way of life. And this is significant in that people on this little Greek Island far outlive people in other areas of the world.
It’s possible to forgive yourself for not looking after your body, but it doesn’t mean that your body will forgive you. But there are some ways a person can turn this around. And it’s rather simple – just focus on these Ikarian characteristics:
Diet – this doesn’t mean that you deprive yourself of anything you enjoy. Everything in moderation. But, eating like the Ikarians means that you’ll consume more fruit and vegetables than any other food group. For a snack, grab an apple or mandarin. Carrots and other vegetables, dipped in hummus are also good substitutes for filling up on chips and biscuits, and all of these, especially hummus, are filling. And when cooking, add more vegies that any other ingredient.
Exercise – Ikarians are known for walking instead of driving. The practical benefits of this can be extended to cycling and jogging as all these forms of exercise take you from one place to another for very little, if any, cost. It also saves on petrol, which means less guilt towards the environment.
A sense of purpose – this is most important. This means having a clear reason to get out of bed in the morning. Having a sense of purpose, or a reason for living has even been found to be a key trait in helping people survive natural disasters. This characteristic of Ikaria can be adopted and brought into every day life through a myriad of ways, including volunteering, being involved with community, and is closely linked to the next point in this article.
Having close relationships – this means developing relationships not only in your family, but also with friends and in the greater community. One of the quickest and most effective ways I’ve found to do this, is to simply let people be themselves in your company. This doesn’t mean compromising your own boundaries, but simply looking at all individuals as though they are innocent, and maintaining a non-judgemental outlook.
So now you can enjoy life like an Ikarian.