Blue Zones: The Power 9 Challenge
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By Stella Drepin
The Blue Zones are areas around the world where people are living long, well, healthy, fulfilling lives.
I have been challenged to choose three of the nine healthy habits that the people living in these communities seem to all do and incorporate them into my life. I will also write about my experience. So, without further ado, my selection is as follows: move naturally, downshift, and be involved in community.
My idea of moving naturally is that I will not stay seated for too long of a time, I will find ways to get up and move while I do homework or watch TV, and that I will engage in more activities that involve movement and increasing my heart rate. I’m choosing this healthy habit because it seems to be pretty simple to me. Even now as I am sitting here and typing this blog post, I’m imagining different ways I can incorporate this habit today!
The challenging part for me will be being motivated to move when I’m at the computer. I might have to be creative and come up with something I can do while I am doing my work at the computer, or take breaks every so often to get up and move. To develop this habit, I may have to set a timer to move every 20 minutes or something.
Downshifting has to do with dealing with daily stress. I am choosing this one because who wouldn’t want to develop a better way to deal with stress? If I can figure this out young, I can avoid all the nasty side effects of stress. The challenging part here will be setting the time aside each day just to remember to downshift. The plan at the moment is that I will take time every day to take all my worries and stresses to my heavenly Father in prayer. It is something that I already do, but not as faithfully as I would like. In the Bible, it says to cast all my cares on Jesus, and I need to take that seriously and take the time to do that daily.
Lastly, I have chosen to be involved in community. The key here is to feel that belonging and support from those around you. The example from the book has to do with faith-based communities. And I already happen to be a part of one! What I think I can be more intentional in this category with is actually engaging more in my church. The challenge for me is the fact that I am an introvert. That makes things complex. I really have to push myself to meet new people and engage in small talk. So, we shall see how this challenge works out. I’m not making any promises. Hopefully though, this challenge helps me learn a few things about myself, encourages other people to try some new healthy habits, and helps me improve my life and well being.