During lockdown, persistently feeling happy and healthy in our bodies and minds can be a struggle.
Although we can be outside for an unlimited amount of time, we might not feel motivated to do an intense workout. Equally, we might feel more tempted by takeaways and junk food.
As the UK government announced at the start of June that UK citizens can go on holiday providing they self-isolate for two-weeks after, the thought of being able to do this in the near future is an exciting concept for many.
However, these are difficult times, and beating ourselves up certainly isn’t productive. So, instead, let’s consider some small changes we could make to our daily routines that will have a transformative effect on our mental and physical health.
Let’s talk about Blue Zoning. This practice is used by many regions around the world who are particularly healthy in their minds and bodies. Not only that, these practices are used by regions who have the highest life expectancy.
The concept of ‘Blue Zoning’ is all about helping you realise your potential and bettering your health, without making drastic changes to your life.
With this concept in mind, lets see how Blue Zoning during lockdown can help emulate a healthier lifestyle.
What is Blue Zoning?
For many years, communities known as ‘blue zone’ ones have been excelling around the world. These are communities of people who live long and healthy lives — in fact, these people have the oldest life expectancy in the world! From Icaria in Greece to Okinawa in Japan, people are thriving into their 100s, and each detail of their lives contributes to this impressive feat.
For people who live in these blue zone areas, moderate physical exercise has been built into their everyday lives. Gentle exercise and healthy habits such as climbing stairs more often are proving to be more beneficial than hitting the gym and living life to the extreme.
Blue zone populations show low rates of chronic disease and, since following in their footsteps, regions which have emulated this blue zone lifestyle have seen drops in obesity, smoking, and BMI.
Although each blue zone is unique in its own way, they all have a certain theme to follow. As well as a focus on light exercise (such as brisk walking) and habitual activities, the regions mainly stick to a plant-based diet and are more likely to be spiritual.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Blue Zoning
It’s not as difficult as you might think to blue zone your home during lock down. You’ll be amazed at how simple changes in your routine will benefit your health and your mood.
Although we’d prefer to be walking round the high street shopping for our favourite designer swimwear, until non-essential stores re-open again the likes of walking, cooking, cleaning, and other habitual activities around the house all contribute to a ‘blue zone’ way of life.
Optimising your home for these activities is the first step towards beginning your ‘Blue Zone’ lifestyle.
Now, lets discuss ten simple ways to blue zone your home during lockdown.
1. How home organisation can increase your steps
To help increase your steps, making simple changes such as placing the remote control at the opposite end of the room can help substantially with this. Get creative! Whatever gets you up on your feet and moving about. Make sure you need to head up and down your stairs frequently throughout the day.
2. Monitor your progress with a Fitbit or other fitness tracker
What better way to monitor how beneficial these small household adjustments are? Monitor your steps every day and you’ll be surprised by how much you walk while you’re trying to stay on your feet slightly more than usual.
3. Reduced lighting can stop your eyes from straining
Instead of going for a mood-lighting theme, its best to keep the room bright when working from home. This way, you’ll reduce eye strain when trying to focus.
4. Make your home an Inconvenience
It is common to rely too much on household appliances to do everything for us nowadays. But if we want to make the most out of our new blue zoning lifestyle, we need to go back to completing tasks manually. From lawnmowers to egg whisks, go back to basics.
5. Say no to convenient kitchen cravings
Choosing to eat the closest snack that we could find is an easy habit to fall into. So, if you want to cut out the unhealthy foods, simply make them less accessible and keep a full fruit bowl in a prominent place instead.
6. Choose a different laundry day
Bending down to pick up laundry can damage your back more than what you might think. It’ll do your posture wonders to elevate your laundry basket slightly higher up. When it comes to laundry day, don’t strain your back carrying a heavy load — go back and forth with smaller amounts to get your steps in.
7. Catch up on sleep
In blue zone areas, taking regular naps throughout the day and obtaining a healthy sleeping pattern is encouraged. Use your fitness tracker to monitor your sleeping pattern to make sure that you’re getting enough rest.
8. Allocating time to relax is vital
Blue zones areas tend to have a more relaxed approach to life, helping to prevent any unnecessary stress. Take time to de-stress and don’t work yourself too hard. After all, you deserve a break during lockdown.
9. The right temperature for the perfect sleep
Trying to get the temperature in your home between 15 to 19 degrees celsius is considered to be the ideal temperature to sleep at. It is also a good idea to block out all sources of light so that you get the best sleep possible.
10. Making the switch to a Blue Zone diet
A plant-based diet can help make many positive changes to your diet; therefore, it is definitely worthwhile trying out. Blue zone diets are also heavily dependant on whole grains, nuts, and legumes, so try to introduce as many of these as possible.
It may seem that these small changes might not be highly beneficial, but blue zoning your home is all about making manageable changes that in turn have considerable benefits. Why not give at least some of these ideas a go? Before we can try out the true blue zone experience in Icaria, or Sardinia in Italy, until then, give your lockdown habitat a blue zone makeover!