What Did These People Do Special to Live For a Century?

where other people are struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle

Abhinav Rai
3 min readNov 4, 2023
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I have always been fascinated by the cultural aesthetics of Japan. From their rich culture and heritage to the anime, my friends have always been madly vocal about it.

Which intrigued me to explore more about the same. While delving into the country, I came to know about Okinawa Island.

Okinawa Island is renowned for its centenarians. Elegantly encompassed by the crystal clear emerald blue water, home to the most centurion.

While other countries are recording the plunge in life expectancy, people from Okinawa Island have always been put under the scanner for surviving their lives for centuries.

It looks like a parallel world.

Most people are insanely conscious about training and diet. Still, they hardly make it to their nineties.

However, the people from Okinawa Island piqued my curiosity, which led me to explore the secrets to their longevity.

The secret to their longevity boils down to ‘balance’. They were doing everything modestly, not in extreme.

They live by certain principles. Which enables them to worry less and laugh more.

The best-selling book ‘IKIGAI’ unveils the mysterious lifestyle of Okinawa people, which helps them live longer.

I am disclosing the philosophies by which Okinawa people live to achieve longevity.

Take it slow

Natives of Okinawa embrace life. They emphasize living in the moment. Because it’s never gonna come again.

They believe in walking slowly to get far in life. Leaving behind the urgencies and worries. They refrain from anticipating life, the present is all they have.

With less stress, they live more and experience life to the fullest.

On asking centenarians, they advise — slow down a little, eat and sleep well. Everything is fine. life is a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint.

Surround yourself with good people

And very practical advice, isn’t it? Everyone wants to hang around with good people. It infuses positivity and happiness in life.

People from Okinawa believe in keeping their company right. They treat everyone like brothers, even when they meet for the first time.

They extend their warmth to each other.

Being around happy people helps them to have better cognitive health, immune function, and social support.

Because most of the human’s happiness depends upon the quality of their relationships with people.

Get fit for next birthday

In Okinawa, people celebrate their birthdays with great zeal. While everyone pledges to stay fit and active for their birthday.

Which spurs them to be consistent with their practices. They keep on beating themselves up for it. Because they aspire to celebrate their next birthday with their loved ones. Which ensures they stick to a healthy routine.

Stay active, never retire

The locals of Okinawa believe there’s no alternative to stay active. You can’t live longer without moving. You must have a burning desire to serve your purpose. To never retire and pursue the passion till the last breath.

In interviewing, each centenarian admitted to having a vegetable garden. They must go out in the garden every morning. They tend to keep moving.

Because staying idle slows down the metabolism and dips the good cholesterol level by 20%.

Do not eat until full

Eating mindlessly can take a toll on your gut health. Especially in older age, when the body isn’t optimally functioning.

That’s why the people of Okinawa eat according to a Confucian philosophy (Hara hachi bun me). To eat until they are 80% full.

They eat on multiple smaller plates. Which creates a cognitive bias of eating more than usual. While eating less to stay in a calorie deficit.

Studies show that a low-calorie diet can foster better heart health, improve weight loss, and promote longevity.

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Abhinav Rai

Penning down my unsolicited opinions based on my personal experiences ... Self-Help | Books | Mental Health |