By Catherine McGeer • 19 August 2023 • 22:20
Spanish culture places great importance on family ties and social connections. Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images
LIFE on the coast of Spain is not all about sun, sea, and sangria the way of life is a huge part of why so many people choose to uproot their lives and settle down on the shores of the Mediterranean. Spanish people live longer than anyone else on the planet, according to a new report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. They predict that by 2040 Spanish people will have an average lifespan of 85.8 years outliving even the Japanese.
Spanish people don’t only live longer but have up to a 20 per cent lower risk of Dementia and other brain-related diseases especially those that live a Mediterranean lifestyle. Their longevity and their brain health are heavily influenced by their strong social connections, a purpose in life, and regular movement. With that in mind let’s have a look at some of their best customs and traditions and the positive impact on their mental well-being.
Spanish culture places great importance on family ties and social connections. Strong family bonds provide emotional support and a sense of belonging, which are crucial for mental well-being. Regular family gatherings, celebrations, and close-knit communities help them maintain an active social life, stimulating their minds and reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
Spain’s pleasant climate and picturesque landscapes offer plenty of opportunities to engage in outdoor activities. Taking leisurely strolls, gardening, or joining community walking groups not only provide physical exercise but also stimulate mental activity. The combination of fresh air, nature, and social interaction helps them stay mentally agile and enhances their overall well-being. During the summer months, other outdoor events are often organised like Yoga or Thai-Chi on the beach for example.
This is possibly one of the most important points as these events often provide a purpose to people’s lives, especially for people who are retired. By actively participating in cultural traditions, such as festivals, dances, and musical events they provide a sense of belonging, cultural identity, and intellectual stimulation. Dancing, in particular, has been found to improve cognitive function, memory, and attention span, making it an excellent activity to maintain mental agility.
Spanish people have a strong inclination toward lifelong learning. Many engage in educational programs, attend workshops, or pursue hobbies that challenge their minds and promote continuous learning. By embracing new knowledge and skills, they keep their cognitive abilities sharp, expand their horizons, and maintain a positive outlook on life. If you are new to Spain why not start Spanish lessons learning a language is one of the best ways to keep the mind sharp!
Spanish people often participate in games, such as chess, card games, puzzles, and pétanque. These activities not only provide mental stimulation but also encourage social interaction, fostering a sense of community and healthy competition. Joining social clubs or local community centres that offer such activities allows them to stay mentally active while building new friendships.
By following in their footsteps while also maintaining a healthy balanced diet you too can live a rich, healthy, and happy life along the coast of Spain.
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I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!
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