India’s variety of colourful spices.
Japan’s hearty soups for breakfast.
Greece and Italy’s love of healthy oils and fresh ingredients.
The heart-warming smell of fresh bread in France… and a tasty glass of wine.
These are all trademarks of countries that keep us coming back for more, whether for their philosophy and lifestyle, for their love of nature, choice of fresh ingredients or combination of tastes that inspire us to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
All in all, each country has its own image of what health is supposed to mean and how to get there.
But the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index reserved a little surprise.
Spain is officially the world’s healthiest country!
That’s right – Spain flamenco’ed all the way to the top of the chart.
The Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index annually ranks 169 economies according to a combination of factors, attempting to understand which country presents the higher chance of living a long, healthy life. These factors include life expectancy, rates of obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking, and environmental factors.
And here at Lingoda we sure know how to celebrate. Today, we give Spain our spotlight and tell you the ABC for enjoying the country and the healthiest things it has to offer.
Visiting Spain? Have a blast…while being healthy!
Soak up the sun
While the number of hours under the sun does not guarantee life quality, it surely helps. Two Spanish cities had already been represented in the top 10 sunniest cities in Europe in 2016. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, sunny weather necessarily invites us to go out more, get some fresh air, occupy the beach and explore our cities more freely. Waking up to a clear blue sky in the immense streets of Madrid seems like a good idea to us!
Get the best out of the Mediterranean diet
Experiencing life without paella, tapas, gazpacho or a couple of padrone peppers would be possible – and yet, it would be a miserable life, so we’re not really up for it! What is it about Spain’s food habits that keep us returning? See, Spain relies heavily on the renown, commonly praised Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, healthy oils, a decent variety of veggies, plenty of fiber and fresh ingredients. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has surpassed keto and 38 other diets as the healthiest choice for 2019. Need we say more?
Siesta your way into your eighties
Born in Spain in 2019? Expect to live up to the ripe age of 82 years old. Yes, we know what you’re thinking. That’s the highest life expectancy in the European Union. But eighty-two years of life can also be tiring, if you ask us. That’s where the siesta comes in. This reinvigorating after-lunch nap has been referred to as the Spanish version of yoga, and we’re guessing it isn’t because you’ll twist your torso into several uncomfortable positions. Rather, it is because of its surprising benefits when done right: if you’re looking to reduce a misbehaving blood pressure, awaken your creativity, boost your productivity or just become a ninja by improving your focus and reflexes (you know, the usual!), now you know where to begin.
Enjoy Spain’s highly-praised healthcare system
We would rather explore the wonders of Sevilla or Granada without having to worry about a rash or an organ transplant (that escalated quickly), but if we need to visit a Spanish hospital, we are likely to be well served. Spain has been a consistent top performer and world leader in organ transplants, all while presenting some of the lowest mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal when addressed properly by doctors.
Stop living for work
Walking the streets of Madrid in the evening, you are likely to be surprised at how much people enjoy their time after working hours. Most young people will leave their office after a long working day and still hit the tapas bars, grab a beer or sit outside to enjoy the evening, rather than going straight to bed. To the common European it will seem that everything in Spain happens quite late, but this could also be the reason why Spaniards extend the evening to enjoy it more fully.
Move your feet like you mean it
You find yourself in the country of flamenco, paso doble, fandango and sevillanas – are you really planning on just standing there?! Bloomberg’s Healthiest Country Index might not have included dancing as part of their health components, but it has been proven that hitting the dance floor can bring astonishing benefits to your health. Common Spaniards might not be dancing fandango all the way to the office and back, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the culture, the history behind these traditional dance styles and seek the Spaniard within you!
Learn Spanish and take your health to the next step
Learning a second language has been proven to improve your ability to focus, help you prevent memory loss, improve your knowledge of your first language and even help you make better decisions. By learning Spanish, you collect all of these benefits, but also open up your heart to people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, improving your social life and confidence as well. There is so much more to health than not smoking or eating properly! Cultivating knowledge, awareness and self-improvement is also a significant part of it and can be achieved by learning a language that will open doors throughout the world, as is the case with Spanish.
Can’t get enough of healthy countries? We hear you!
While Spain dominated the chart for the world’s healthiest countries, it wasn’t the only country recognized and complimented for its healthy lifestyle. Ireland, Canada, Australia, Austria, France and Switzerland have all come closer to the top. This comes to show that there isn’t one single country dictating the rules. Learning English or French can also open the door to discovering other interesting lifestyles and surroundings that will speak to you.
We can already picture the wine glasses, the inspiring landscapes, the green fields, the energizing sports and the snowy, poetic scenery!
Let’s book our tickets?