European really know the secret of a good life, they enjoy just about the healthiest, wealthiest lifestyle on the planet. Many European countries routinely rank higher than the United States in so many health metrics. The reasons of difference in Europeans health and longevity are related to essential lifestyle factors, including good habits, quality food, sleep, fun. Although not all the elements are exact, many of them are changing over the time, but some of these are noticed or proved by the visitors and tourists.
It’s all about the movement and to know when to stop
Walking and Cycling. The whole European families work out every day. Bicycles are the primary transportation tools in many European countries. They really like walking toward parks, nearby excursions, gardening or handling vineyards, so they don’t need gyms to stay healthy. Europeans are always in movement- to the workplace, to restaurants, up for kids in kindergarten.
Nap Time. Afternoons in Europe are reserved for a nap, it’s kind of a more extended lunch break that involves some time for resting or napping. That’s the time when many businesses shut down for a few hours so everyone can go home and relax. In the summer, during the heat of the day, it’s routine to take time off, so everyone come back refreshed and ready to work. And science shows the benefits of a quick nap.
Home Gardening. Gardening and growing food at home are a part of daily life in many European towns or countrysides. Almost every family has a private family garden around the house where they grow tomatoes, olives, or some fruit. Often, families have a little farm, and they produce dairy products, eggs, just in their backyard.
Focus on Community
Better Use of Space. As visitors notice, in Europe people owned less stuff, so they are not crowded and better use space. They don’t buy large houses, they are focused on areas that were the size they actually needed. Many buildings, European homes, were built hundreds of years ago, so they didn’t have elevators. Houses don’t have huge rooms, so everything is very functional and organized and used space well.
Focus on Community. Every other night, families and communities, especially in small European towns or suburbs, share an essential ordinary meal and spend some time talking and enjoying each others company. Every day another family prepare the food together. Studies have shown that good relationships and community are one of the most critical factors for health.
Good habits – best foundation for a healthy lifestyle
Quality Wine. Wine is a part of daily life, especially in France, Italy, and Spain. It’s routine and a piece of lifestyle to drink a glass of wine (or more) at dinner. From a health perspective, it’s beneficial too, because wine contains many useful compounds like flavonoids, resveratrol
Less Air Conditioning. Many cities and towns don’t have air conditioning, what is right for health. Although sweating is high, that is one of the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. Heat shock proteins are associated with avoiding plaque formation in the brain. This is also linked to longevity. That’s is why saunas can be so beneficial. On the other side, cold exposure increases norepinephrine in the brain, leading to improved mood, better sleep, and less stress.
Less Access to Fast Food. One of the reasons European are healthier is because they have less access to fast food, especially in rural areas. People are preparing everything from scratch, bread, cheese and they are eating more slowly.