Blue Zones of The World: Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

July 24, 2017 / in Blog, Costa Rica, Job Happiness, / by Number8

Blue Zone in Costa RicaThe Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica could contain all the secrets to living a long, healthy life. There are regions of the earth specifically identified by their inhabitants. Blue Zones are areas in which the world’s longest-lived people reside. People who have lived beyond the average life span are concentrated these areas because of the resources and the communal way of life. The five Blue Zones that have been discovered and researched include cities is Italy, Japan, California, Greece, and Costa Rica. According to the Blue Zones website, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica holds the record for lowest rates of middle age mortality, and the second highest concentration of men who are over the age of 100. To achieve this status, the Nicoyans, along with the other members of the Blue Zones, follow these nine practices

Move Naturally

Exercise is obviously extremely important when pursuing a healthy life. However, those who live in the Blue Zones rarely use modern techniques when it comes to working out. Instead they take advantage of their surroundings by spending time outdoors and using the earth as their gym

Find Purpose

The Nicoyans refer to this as “plan de vida” or “why I wake up in the morning.”  Having a sense of purpose in life will allow you to operate in a meaningful way. It can also increase your life expectancy by an extra seven years.

Down Shift

Stress is an inevitable part of life. However those who take steps to be proactive and avoid situations that incite unnecessary pressure, are less likely to develop illnesses such as heart disease, or alzheimer’s.

80% rule

Those living in Blue Zones follow an ancient Confucian mantra to not eat past 80% full. They typically only eat a few small meals a day, and never surpass the 80% mark. Diet in Blue Zones often includes lentils

Plant Slant

Diets vary across the world, but the people who live to be over 100 all share a few main staple dishes in their meals including: a variety of beans, lentils, soy and occasionally pork. They also limit their serving sizes to about 3 or 4 oz.

Wine @ 5

Alcohol may seem like it would have many negative effects on health, but when consumed in moderation it can actually be beneficial. It helps if it is consumed with friends, and/or with food.

Belong

Out of the 263 centenarians interviewed by the National Geographic researchers, all but 5 of them belonged to some kind of faith-based community. The type of faith didn't matter in terms of benefiting the people. Instead it is the sense of community and togetherness that aids in lengthening life.

Loved Ones First

Family structure is very important in these regions. Many of the people in Blue Zones live in the same home with their extended family. According to a National Geographic article: "Nicoyan centenarians tend to live with their families, and children or grandchildren provide support and a sense of purpose and belonging."

Right Tribe

Many of these practices include the core value of community. This also includes the idea that it is helpful to surround yourself with people who will help you develop healthy routines. Studies show that obesity, unhealthy habits, and even loneliness can be contagious. To lead a longer and better life, it is helpful to be around people who bring out the best behaviors. At Number8, our community is made up of employees in Louisville, Kentucky and throughout Costa Rica. Our team travels through Costa Rica both for business, and for pleasure. We understand the value of leading a healthy, happy life. And we strive to learn from all the practices adopted by those residing in the Blue Zones. If you are looking to learn more about our company, and the work we do in Costa Rica, and in America, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!

Reduce Job Stress With These Tips

June 6, 2017 / in Blog, / by Number8

Reduce Job Stress with These TipsNo matter how much anyone loves their job, they will still have to deal with stress. Some occupations may entail more stressful situations more frequently, however everyone can benefit from learning coping methods. In the tech industry, stress often results from spending a significant amount of time in front of a computer, without enough fresh air and exercise. It can also be difficult to ever really “clock out” when your work can be done from almost any location. Here at Number8, we want to promote a healthy, and stress-free work environment. Below, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips that we use for reducing job stress.

Schedule for energy and focus

Begin each day with a plan. Be realistic and schedule for breaks. If you manage your expectations for productivity, then you’ll avoid getting overwhelmed by tasks. Be prepared for spur of the moment assignments that may have to jump up to the top of your priority list. Allow for flexibility, but don’t let those impromptu tasks take over. Stay focused on the projects that need the most attention.

Sleep well and eat right

Getting enough sleep, and developing a healthy diet is easier said than done. But getting into the habit can benefit your life in many ways. Being well-rested will allow you to take on challenges with a clear head. It can help prevent negative affect, and instead provide you with a more positive mindset which aids in the prevention of stress. A good diet will give you the energy necessary to a a productive, and stress-free day. Some quick fixes include limiting the amount of caffeine you consume, and instead focusing on drinking plenty of water.

Take time to relax

Depending on the workplace, it may be difficult to take time out of the day to get outside. So, instead work on developing some daily practices to help keep nerves calm, and avoid getting too stressed. Breathing exercises work great and don’t require leaving the office. Stretching at your desk, or even taking the time to get up and walk around every hour or so can greatly benefit your overall health and also your work ethic.  

Establish boundaries

With smartphones, now more than ever it is almost impossible to be unavailable. Even days off aren’t really days off. To help reduce the stress of always being on call, work with your peers and managers to establish boundaries. Let them know when you can be reached outside of the office, but also when you can’t. Its extremely valuable to draw lines between your work life and your personal life. If you don’t make these boundaries clear, you could end up resenting your job for following you wherever you go.

Avoid interruptions

Be present while you’re at work. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid keeping your phone close by. A text from a friend, or a news notification can quickly derail your focus and make it increasingly difficult to get back on task. It is also important to avoid multitasking. Try to follow your plan and stick to it without doubling up. If you divide your attention to multiple projects at the same time, none of them will be receiving your full effort. Each project should be treated with the same amount of integrity as the next.   Our employees at Number8 follow these tips to help reduce stress and maintain focus to deliver the best possible services. If you're looking for motivated, and stress-free employees to help with a project, give us a call at (502) 890-7665 or send us an email through our Contact page.  

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