How to Exercise like the Longest-Living Men on Earth

Say good-bye to your gym membership because if you want to live like the longest-living men on Earth, you won't need it. Of all the healthy elderly Sardinian people that I've met, not a single one them has ever stepped foot in a gym. Exercise for Sardinians comes naturally as a part of their daily lives, so they don't have to supplement it. Whether it be walking to the store for groceries, taking a stroll with a friend, hiking in the mountains to forage for wild asparagus, or tending to their orchards, sitting still (for long) is not on the roster.

So how can you incorporate the habits of the 100+ year-olds into your own lifestyle?

1. Take long slow walks in nature (preferably with a friend!)

If you have a nature trail near you, this is the perfect spot to walk around with a friend and take some time to socialize. If there's one thing Sardinians love to do - it is going for daily walks with their friends and engaging in lots of fun gossip on the town. A long slow walk may not burn as many calories as running on the elliptical machine - but it's not about throwing your body into high stress with intense cardio, the Sardinian lifestyle is all about de-stressing, slowing down, and being consistent with your health. 

2. Just Say No to the Elevator

Most Sardinian towns have been built in the foot-hills and valleys on near mountains, this means getting around town involved lots of steep uncomfortable slopes and stairways. You won't see a Sardinian hesitate or lose their breath when approaching these though, they happily stroll up and down their towns with their grocery carts full of fresh fruits and veggies. Try to force yourself to walk or take the stairways as much as you can, even when it's a bit inconvenient. Life in Sardinia is about accepting and happily living with the minor inconveniences, not avoiding them.

3. Forage

You may not be able to find wild asparagus or safe mushrooms where you are, but you can still partake in the relaxing pass-time of foraging - one of the most favorite seasonal hobbies of Sardinians. Pick up a foraging book from your local library for your area (or even try a quick google search) and head out to search for some goodies. Even if it's nothing edible, you'll have so much fun searching for various plants that you won't even realize how many calories you've burned.

4. Find a Physical Hobby

Whether it be olive harvesting, pastoring sheep, gardening, or building houses - the healthiest Sardinians I know engage in some sort of physical hobby or work. Think about what interests you and if there might be some way to turn that interest into side-work or even just fun activity to do on the weekends. For example, if you like hiking or mountains, you might try climbing. If you have a backyard - gardening might be more your speed. The best way to keep yourself energized is working towards something you're passionate about - set goals for yourself, try something new and just enjoy!

If you're used to a high-paced busy lifestyle like I was, it might be hard to get out of the mindset that the faster, higher-intensity, and harder the exercise - the better. Seeing the quality of the lives that there are in Sardinia and the ease at which their health is incorporated into their culture woke me up to believing that more stress, body or mind, is worse for the health over-all. And it's all evidenced by the amazing and unique health and longevity that this island experiences. Make sure to subscribe to the blog and our social media pages for more lifestyle tips directly from the amazing island that we are so lucky to call home.  


Live to be 100+

The Secret to Longevity, Bottled

Extra virgin olive made on family farms, just like ours, in Sardinia is a quintessential part of the diet. We use the same olive cultivar as the city of the centenarians.
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