When was the last time you thought about health? And I am not saying from the perspective of ‘eating healthy’ but rather about being healthy. What do you think about this?
Before moving to the states, I had read that obesity is a problem here but I landed in NYC and I did not see that AT ALL. I saw joggers, trader joes, salad options, and people running to and fro the subway and they all seemed pretty fit me. I also did not see much smoking in NYC but that is only one state in America.
I know from India, that long working hours, stressful commutes, adulterations in food, and increasing lifestyle disorders due to quick adaptation to western diets are causing serious health concerns.
So is this something you think about? I am sure you do as otherwise there won’t be so much awareness of health in the world today. I know that being a person with type 1 diabetes, I am always looking for ways to make my life healthy. The topmost searches on my Youtube are for low-carb healthy breakfast recipes and every time, I eat an avo toast or chia seed pudding for breakfast, I feel super proud of myself
But is that all health?
Lately, I started researching the happiest countries in the world. I assumed that the happiest countries ought to be the healthiest as well. I was wrong. I found out that there is this Bloomberg report where they have ranked the counties based on several paraments to establish the healthiest country chart. Some parameters are-
- Health risks (tobacco use, high blood pressure, obesity)
- Availability of clean water
- Average life expectancy
- Causes of death
You can read the report on the Bloomberg site if you are subscribed to them or you can find the details here as well -> World Population Reviews
So, which country is the healthiest?
Well, the número uno country is SPAIN followed by its neighbor, ITALY. When I read this, I was surprised as I would have expected Nordic countries to be the ones due to their food culture & governmental programs. But no it’s Spain despite being struggling economically for some time. Now, unlike in Nordic countries, there isn’t a lot of information online from the people who live in Spain. All I read is that they eat a Mediterranean diet. I am 765% sure there is a lot more in this than a diet that is selling millions of copies on Amazon. So I did some investigating and these are my initial findings –
Spain has the highest percentage of walkers in Europe, with 37% of people walking to work instead of driving (only 6% of Americans walk to work) The influencers I follow and hopefully will bring to the American Wife blog soon, mentions that now the health centers are becoming more popular but still an average person walks to most places.
The city, of course, has public commutes and if it is anything like NYC, there is a lot of walking and staying active. I think subways are a major reason behind New Yorkers being so fit..
The medical system is completely free for everyone and this is definitely an amazing thing a country can do for its citizens. At least all developed counties should do this.
The Youtubers “Spain Revealed” mentioned in their video that though you may not find the facilities very attractive, it is functional. And this is what everyone needs. Right?
Their diet & the way they eat.
Yes, the Mediterranean diet is one of the reasons but the main reason is that their eating habits are simple. Their meals are smaller than the average American size, something I still haven’t gotten used to.
The usual meals run later for them but the meals in themselves are not bad. So I guess it balances out the eating-late part. Plus the meals are usually enjoyed with the company which makes it enjoyable and also someone is less likely to emotional eat when in a company.
The social fabric.
Spaniards have strong ties with their immediate and extended families. They have strong connections with friends from all facets of life. You might ask how can that be a reason behind happiness as don’t having a lot of people in life give a lot of stress. At least, I used to think that when I was in India and in only one year of living alone with my husband, I am realizing how untrue that statement is. We definitely need boundaries in relationships but having a lot of social fabric is crucial for a good life. I am thinking back to all those fun dinners we would have with our extended family. An hour would turn into midnight and we would have no idea what we laughed about for the last few hours.
More sexy times.
The article on El Pais stated that perhaps one reason behind the longevity and healthiness of Spaniards can be the fact that they have more sex in a week than an average Britisher. Not sure how that is compared to the rest of the world but this article has rated Spain at number 9 in the world which is not bad at all.
One more thing I read or heard somewhere is that Spaniards use more positive words in their daily lives. Now, this I think is super smart and anyone can do this. Okay, I am definitely going to make a list of words that I will try and use more of and will share with you all as well—soon.
*I found a lot of this information from these wonderful Spanish vloggers – Spain Revealed. Please follow them for real awesome content on being Spaniards.
Now don’t start packing your bags for a life in Spain. Let us see how we can cultivate some of their healthy habits in our daily lives. Tune in to the American Wife blog as this month we will be decoding the Spain health code. Subscribe to the Newsletter if you haven’t done that already.
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