The aim of National Longevity Day (Monday 19th February) is to get more people to realise that diet, lifestyle choices and exercise now will have a huge impact on them in later life.
It’s something that becomes obvious when looking at Europe’s life expectancy figures. These show that Spain has the second-highest life longevity in the world (Japan comes top). Latest OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) figures show that average life expectancy in Spain is 83.2 years, compared to UK’s 81.6 years.
In fact, Spain has more than 100,000 people aged over 100 – and the nation had the world’s oldest man until just a few weeks ago when Francisco Nunez Olivera died a month after celebrating his 113th birthday.
But what is perhaps even more telling when comparing Spain and the UK is that the average person in Spain enjoys 71 years of “healthy living” – that is, before such as disabilities adversely limit life. In Britain it is just 68.5 years.
So what are the reasons behind this superb Spanish healthiness:
- Diet. The Mediterranean diet includes plenty of fish, salads, fruit and vegetables. It also uses olive oil as dressing and cooking oil.
- Fresh food. People in Spain are used to their food being fresh and not processed. Spain grows everything from avocados and apples to carrots and cabbages. It reaches the shops much more swiftly and there’s also less demand for out-of-season fruit and vegetables that has to be transported miles in plastic containers and so loses much of its healthy value in the process.
- People are generally more relaxed and friendly – much to do with the weather, but also much to do with culture and attitudes.
- Family & friends. This attitude goes to family and friends, rather than work, being at the top of the priority list. This means less stressful working and more happy times together. And the outdoor life means more socialising – all proven to be positive for health.
- As the climate is so warm most days it means people play more sport and exercise more. Even the elderly walk most days.
So while we can do nothing about the terrible British weather, we can offer you our gyms – that mean you can exercise and socialise at the same time. Visit us regularly and you could even live until you’re 100 – or beyond!