Although health is always an important matter, it’s as relevant as ever today. A year after the pandemic and some nations are still struggling to deal with the spread of the virus. There are still emerging variants and record-breaking deaths.
This is why it’s crucial to continue caring for one’s well-being. There may be millions of people who have been vaccinated but it doesn’t mean that it’s time to adapt or revert to unhealthy habits. In fact, it’s the best time to follow a mindful lifestyle. And what better way of life to follow than the healthiest one of all?
According to a study by the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, Spain and Italy are two of the healthiest countries in the world. Besides famous tourist attractions and Romance languages, what do these nations have in common? The Mediterranean lifestyle.
Here are the dos and don’ts of living the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Do: Be Active
Mediterranean countries boast temperate climates that are mild and tolerable all year-round. It’s not just great for eating al fresco. But it means that it’s ideal for activities at any time of the year. It’s common to see people head to the mountains to ski during the winter. During the summer, they’ll head to the beaches for a refreshing swim. In the midst of milder seasons, people will usually jog at the park or even go horseback riding. It’s not uncommon to see kids hanging on to their horse’s headstalls and riding around the equestrian center during weekends. Basically, people take advantage of the nice weather and regularly do outdoor activities.
For countries that experience more extreme weather conditions, this is a bit more difficult to follow. It’s completely normal to feel down and unmotivated during the cold days of winter. This is actually where exercising comes in. In fact, experts say that working out is one of the best ways to overcome the feeling of sadness during the cold.
Don’t: Focus on Work All the Time
One of the most famous Spanish traditions in the world is siesta. It’s not just people taking naps in the afternoon. In reality, virtually the entire country takes a break from around 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. This means that you won’t find a store or restaurant that’s open during those hours. This four-hour break is done not just to avoid the hot afternoon weather but also to give everyone a break.
Take a page from Spain’s book and put your well-being first. Your work is important but so is your health. A study has found that Americans are stressed on most weekdays. While stress may be needed to improve your workplace performance, too much of it can lead to unhealthy coping strategies. Some people tend to overeat when they feel stressed while others don’t get enough sleep.
Before you agree to working overtime, think of your health. Have you had enough sleep or nutritious meals? A balanced lifestyle is necessary for your well-being.
Do: Go for Simple
Food from Italy, Spain, and Greece all have something in common — they’re simple. It’s all about letting the fruits and vegetables to shine in the dishes. This is why it’s important to use the freshest ingredients you can find when following their recipes.
Cooking food like the Spaniards, Italians and Greeks have several benefits. They’re tasty. Some recipes may not need a lot of ingredients, but they still pack a punch when it comes to flavor. Another benefit is they’re easy to make. Carbonara, gazpacho, and Greek salad are all dishes that you can make in under an hour. Even if you’re exhausted after work, you can still make dinner without breaking a sweat.
Don’t: Forget to Treat Yourself
Italy and Spain are both world-famous for their delicious wines. Whether it’s a Chianti or a cava, both are worth the splurge especially for special occasions. In fact, red wine has even been linked with heart benefits. With that said, it doesn’t mean that you should drink a glass with every meal. There are still reservations whether it really does lower the chances of heart attacks.
What you should do is to treat yourself with a glass every once in a while. If you’re trying out a stricter diet, you can even use it as a prize.
When it comes to copying from the Mediterranean, it shouldn’t just be limited to their delicious food. Their laid-back yet active lifestyle is something that should be more popular around the world. It proves that health is not just about what you eat but also what you do.