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Why is the Spanish Lifestyle so Healthy? (Top 10 Reasons)

Written By: Byron | September 14, 2023

Let’s look at the secrets of the Mediterranean marvel that is Spain and find out why the Spanish lifestyle is so healthy and how you can get on board!

The Spanish lifestyle, admired by many and practiced by millions, holds within its essence the secrets to a healthier and longer life. But it’s not all beaches and sunshine, there’s a lot more to understanding why the Spanish lifestyle leads to a healthy and happy life. How? Let’s find out.

A bowl of seafood stew with giant mussels and shrimp, garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

Embracing the Mediterranean Diet

Central to the Spanish way of life is the Mediterranean diet, a culinary treasure celebrated globally. Rich in olive oil, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, this diet offers many health benefits, from improving heart health to mental well-being.

We can easily sum up the key points of the Mediterranean Diet:

  • Olive Oil: Liquid gold, as many term it, is the primary fat source in the Spanish kitchen. Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, it’s known to reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels. Read more about olive oil nutrition facts and health benefits
  • Fresh Produce: Spain boasts a variety of fruits and vegetables. The daily consumption of these, rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, assists in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Seafood: With Spain’s expansive coastline, seafood is a staple. Fish, particularly oily ones like sardines and mackerel, are laden with omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for cardiovascular health.

Siestas: More than Just a Nap

While the world rushes, Spain pauses. Siestas, the mid-afternoon naps, are not merely cultural quirks. They offer a respite, reducing stress and boosting cognitive functions. This tradition hails from a time when Spanish workers took breaks to avoid the scorching midday sun. It’s still a very real tradition, especially in the hotter months. 

Active Lifestyle: Walking and Socializing

Spaniards often prefer walking to driving. This preference isn’t only eco-friendly but also supports cardiovascular health, bone strength, and mental wellness.

In addition, Spanish plazas and markets buzz with activity. Social interaction, an integral aspect of the culture, plays a significant role in mental well-being. Building connections and fostering relationships keep the mind agile and the spirit youthful. 

Grab a friend or two and enjoy a walk and a chat at the same time. And if you live near a body of water, that is fairly flat, something we’ve only seen in Spain (but could happen all over the Mediterranean) is groups of people going for “walks” up and down the beach — in the water. They stay close to the shore but enjoy the coolness of the water and the benefit of walking, while chatting and having a great time!

A scenic view of the cliffs of Rhonda, in Spain.

Celebrating Life with Fiestas

Life in Spain is a celebration. Fiestas, whether local or national, provide an opportunity to unite, dance, and revel. They signify the Spanish emphasis on enjoying life, which contributes immensely to their overall well-being. In summer, you’ll see festivals in just about — or possibly — every town, even those with just a thousand residents!

Mindful Eating: Savoring Every Bite

The Spanish approach to food is holistic. Meals aren’t hurried affairs but prolonged, sociable events. This slow eating aids digestion and promotes better nutrient absorption. Moreover, it’s a moment of gratitude, appreciating the flavors and the company.

And if you’ve not visited Spain, you should know about the tradition of the sobremesa. This ritual usually takes place after a heavy and long lunch and involves taking time to relax after a meal and continue the good times. It often includes coffee, digestive liquor, and plenty of conversation and laughter.

Natural Beauty and Biodiverse Landscapes

Spain, with its mountains, beaches, and forests, offers a plethora of opportunities for outdoor activities. The diverse landscapes are not just sights to behold but playgrounds for the body and soul. Since it’s so vast, there’s something for everyone. Just one incredible space is Sierra Nevada in the south — you can ski or hike to the top and see the sea! After that, a spot of tapas in the town is nearly obligatory. 

Art and Culture: Nourishment for the Soul

Spain’s rich history and cultural heritage, from flamenco to Picasso, provide a mental and emotional refuge. Engaging in art, music, and dance, whether as a creator or a spectator, enriches the soul and fosters creativity.

  • Museums: The top 10 museums include the likes of Prado and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
  • Dance & Music: Whilst Flamenco certainly isn’t the only music or dance style you can enjoy in Spain, it’s a popular choice and one you can see in every city. If you visit Spain, you should see at least one show; the passion and emotions are an experience in themself.

Traditional Healing Practices

Though modern medicine is prevalent and the public health system excellent, many Spaniards still turn to age-old healing practices using herbs and natural remedies. These practices emphasize the balance between mind, body, and spirit.

A Lifestyle That Improves Lives

The Spanish lifestyle is a blend of time-honored traditions, rich diets, and a zest for life. It’s not just about living but thriving, finding joy in the everyday, and cherishing the moments that truly matter. It seems that the essence lies in the balance — between work and rest, tradition and modernity, individuality and community. Replicate this at home and enjoy the benefits too!

An even landscape scene of Puerta del Sol in Central madrid


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