It is well known fact that Italians are the healthiest European nation and they stay healthier for longer. What are the secrets of Italian longevity?
According to scientists at Leicester University, people stay healthier for longer, in Italy, compared with those in other European countries. And the differences in the Euro health league tables are really quite striking.
The following are several pieces of advice that will help you to feel healthy and to live longer.
1. First of all, at lunchtime, stop that crappy junk food, be it sandwiches or pots of salad that you are so eager to buy after queueing for ages in the street or at Tesco. And stay well away from your company canteen with its frustrated cooks. Instead, go home for your lunch. It's what the Italians do, and it serves us well. OK, your boss may object, but really your boss should be going home at lunchtime too.
2. Second, remember not to cycle home - the correct thing to do is drive. Italians are very proud of their very unhealthy habit of driving fast and noisy cars in our traffic-jammed towns. Somehow, it works for us.
3. When at home, have a decent ration of pasta with a glass of red (one, no more - doctor's orders). And take note of this: there are two ways to cook pasta properly, ie al dente. The first one is the most difficult but it is not impossible: you put five litres of water in a pot with some salt, wait until it comes to boiling point and then you put your pasta in. You must have occhio (a ready eye) and keep trying the pasta before it's ready. It's a learning curve, but pasta is part of Italian culture, for men and women alike, and it should be part of your culture too.
4. The next bit involves rest, something most of us are bad at. There are still quite a few Italian people indulging in a nice pennichella (a little rest) after lunch. Why not try it too? After all, whatever the scientists say, however much evidence they come up with, one will probably never really be sure what adds up to that extra decade of good health - the only safe thing to do is to ape us in everything.
5. Stop going jogging like a horse at noon , when you should be heading home for your leisurely lunch. What is the point of being slim and fit if it means sacrificing a decade of good health?
6. This more Italian, more leisurely approach to your day should be carried through to the workplace. When you are back at your desk, some time in the afternoon, after a nice stroll, spend at least half your remaining working time drinking coffee with mates or spreading gossip about your boss. Sure, the scientists don't talk about this stuff - but it's all part of the Italian way.
Italians eat the now-famous Mediterranean diet. This involves a lot of fresh fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and olive oil, and there is mounting evidence that such a diet can significantly prolong life and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. You may have read stories about McDonald's culture reaching Italy , but the fact remains that they eat better than people in many other countries.
Regardless of the seemingly endless health warnings, and then the endless stories about the benefits, there's no prising Italians away from their coffee. Millions of Italians rely on a morning espresso. Because of the way it is made and its concentration, an espresso is thought to contain two to three times the number of healthy antioxidants of coffee made by other brewing methods.
The Italians have a reputation as great smokers. And the Italians have gone further down the legislation road than other European countries. Last year, the Italian government banned smoking in all enclosed public places, and cigarette sales fell by 10%.
Italians rarely drink to get drunk. They consume around six times more wine than Europeans, but usually with food. A moderate amount of red wine is believed to lower the risk of heart attack and reduce the cholesterol.
Italians appear to be almost as exercise-shy as many other nations. In both countries, more than a third of people do not participate in any sporting activities. But there are differences, which may be crucial ones: in Italy , 28% of journeys are made on foot compared with a woeful 12% here.
Source: The Guardian
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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