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Monthly Wrap: Should you move to one of these 4 health hotspots in 2020?

currency-newsMonthly Wrap: Should you move to one of these 4 health hotspots in 2020?
According to a recent report, 45% of all New Year’s resolutions are health or fitness related.

However, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is around 80% - meaning few of us actually follow through on our good intentions.

But where you live can have a big impact on how motivated you are to follow a healthier lifestyle.

Research has found that nations where the common diet and lifestyle lend themselves to good health just so happen to have more naturally healthy people. And if everyone around you is living healthier lives it’s far easier to follow suit yourself.

If you’re still committed to the idea of New Year, New You, you might want to consider moving to one of these four health hotspots… 

Sardinia, Italy

Italy is already considered one of the healthiest countries in the world, but its island of Sardinia is particularly special.

Sardinia is a ‘Blue Zone’ - a region notable for its people living far longer than average. The term was coined by explorer and author Dan Buettner in 2005 and there are only a few ‘Blue Zones’ on Earth.

In fact, Sardinia’s village of Seulo holds the record for having 20 centenarians (a person who lives to be over 100) from 1996 to 2016.

But what is it about Sardinia that makes its civilians so incredibly healthy?

Residents have close-knit family and communities, meaning older people have plenty of support. Men continue to be shepherds into their old age, helping to maintain their activity levels. Sardinians tend to walk around five miles a day, and their healthy diet consists of breads, beans, greens, fruits, olive oil and local cheeses.

Moderate exercise, a good diet and strong social connections all keep motivation high and stress low.
 

Japan

Like Italy, Japan is considered one of the best countries in the world when it comes to healthy lifestyles.

Bloomberg’s Global Health Index puts Japan at a more than respectable fourth place and deems it Asia’s healthiest country.

Japan’s diet is rich in fresh fish, other seafood, and legumes, and a lot of traditional dishes involve fermented products. Diet plays a big part in Japan’s famously healthy lifestyle.

The amount of exercise people get in Japan is also key; it’s common for people to walk and cycle in their commutes, often in combination with public transport. Japan is a very pedestrian-friendly country.

Japan has the oldest population of any country in the world, as well as the highest number of centenarians of any country. Around a third of the population are over the age of 65 – so the nation as a whole knows a thing or two about longevity!

On top of all that, Japan is also home to one of the world’s Blue Zones: the prefecture of Okinawa.
 

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

A region where people are more likely to live into their 90s and 100s and another of the world’s ‘Blue Zones’: the Nicoya Peninsula is a gorgeous cape on the north-west coast of Costa Rica.

Being in South America, Costa Rica has an incredible tropical climate unlike anything else you’ll see on this list – and the Nicoya Peninsula in particular is known for being considerably healthier than the rest of the country.

The peninsula is already adored by tourists for its gorgeous landscapes and incredible weather, but what else contributes to people living such healthy and long lives there?

Factors including diets rich in corn and beans, healthy water and air, and the climate being fairly dry all play a part. As well as the healthy Vitamin D of the sun, dry weather means that food stays better for longer, and people are less likely to come down with respiratory diseases.

The many wildlife species and preserves on the Nicola Peninsula only add to its appeal: not only humans love it there.
 

Spain

Spain is the only member of this list which doesn’t involve a ‘Blue Zone’. Despite this though, Spain still takes the #1 spot on Bloomberg’s Global Health Index.

So what makes Spain so special?

While some of Spain’s residents like to have a smoke or a drink, the nation’s average diet and lifestyle habits as a whole just lend themselves to really good health. Mediterranean food with less red meat or processed food, as well as plenty of fruit and veg, mean that Spain’s citizens eat really well.

Spain is also the European country that walks the most, with over 35% of people walking to work. Thanks to these factors and a strong healthcare system, Spain’s life expectancy is always rising – in fact it’s currently projected to become the highest in the world by 2040!
 
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