MissionFit is based in Baltimore, Maryland, but we believe that you can and should look all over the globe for key life lessons. In this blog, we take a look at the longest-living place on Earth. The town’s average life expectancy of over 80 years is a testament to its residents’ health-centered way of life.
It hasn’t always been this way, however. In the 1980s, Nagano had the highest rate of strokes in all of Japan. Since then, the city has undergone a rapid transformation, and we can learn a lot from their journey!
Lessons from Nagano
Nagano had a big salt problem in the 1980’s. Without a proper education in dieting, this was bound to happen. In addition to several other nutritional issues, many families consumed miso soup, a local staple, up to three times per day. After the Japanese government took action and emphasized healthy dieting, the town witnessed a life expectancy jump of 3 years by 1990.
A Societal Shift
Nagano’s efforts to implement healthier lifestyles didn’t stop at just dieting improvements. The private sector also tapped into the momentum that the city was developing. For example, a Tokyo bank started offering incentives like weekend Disneyland getaways to those who got medical checkups on a yearly basis. Health workers also offered blood pressure readings in convenient locations like grocery stores. Ultimately, citizens of Nagano didn’t have to make a large effort to seek out the means to live a healthy lifestyle – it was all around them!
A Lifetime Commitment to Staying Active
Even those with sedentary jobs in Nagano manage to stay moving. A network of over 100 walking paths allows citizens to easily commute or exercise on foot – even during the winter! After retirement, most Nagano citizens shift their focus to tending to the town’s extensive farmland. A professor at the University of Tokyo, once said, “We don’t really know if people in Nagano continue to work because they are healthy, or if they are healthy because they continue to work.” Either way, the city is a great example of the importance of diet, exercise and a little help from everyone when it comes to living long, healthy lives.
Get Stronger with MissionFit
MissionFit is dedicated to strengthening Baltimore youth through classes and an open gym. It’s our goal to encourage positive traits, like respect and teamwork, and provide children with a place to gain self-confidence and enjoy some exercise. To learn more about our classes or donate to support our mission, visit our website. Want to Support? We’re making health a possibility and a priority for Baltimore’s youth. If you want to support us, here are three easy ways to do so:
- Donate here!
- Amazon Wishlist– buy something specific that will make it easier for youth to achieve their health goals.
- You can put your online shopping to good use by donating a percentage of your purchase with AmazonSmile! To get started, sign in here, search for “MissionFit” and select us as your charity of choice.