Longevity isn't exactly on the top of our minds when we sit down to meditate or go for a massage sesh, but Candice Kumai—wellness journalist, best-selling author of six books, and Well+Good council member—has pushed it to the top of her wellness to-do list, and thinks you should too.
"We’re finally realizing that prevention is key, so it’s better to make a decision now that’ll benefit you for the rest of your life."
"We’re finally realizing that prevention is key, so it’s better to make a decision now that’ll benefit you for the rest of your life," Kumai says. To help you discover a self-care plan to serve you for decades to come, we teamed up with Reebok UNLOCKED—a new rewards program that grants you access to even more wellness essentials curated by Well+Good—and asked Kumai to share her longevity insights.
"I say travel more often, stop living your life for other people, start doing things that make you feel amazing, ignore what others are doing, and find a place of well that works for you," Kumai says. Got that?
Scroll down for Kumai's self care plan for longevity—and try adding it to your personal routine, too.
1. Take up shinrin-yoku AKA forest bathing
The daughter of a Japanese mother, Kumai grew up celebrating traditional Japanese customs like Shinrin-yoku. "Shinrin-yoku is the practice of forest bathing and a way to connect to nature and I try to do that—even if that's looking at an ocean or a forest," Kumai says. You can do this every day by just taking 10 minutes out of your lunch break to take a walk (no actual forest or bathing required).
And with this notion of giving time to nature, you should also use it as a moment to give time to yourself. "Prioritize yourself and your life—I also think alone time is really good for reflection and mindfulness," Kumai adds. "I’m often alone a lot because I really enjoy it, and life really won't start for you until you start getting comfortable alone."
2. Sleep time is the best time
This is your go-to-bed-at-8 for free card. Remember those teen days where you could sleep the entire day away? Now's your chance to hit a personal sleep record, this time as a full-blown adult.
"I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but the biggest secret in longevity that I’ve known and studied is actually sleep," Kumai says. "I clock eight hours a night, and if you’re making excuses, then you probably need to stop watching TV." That doesn't mean you can't get in an episode of the latest true-crime doc—just don't make it a binge.
3. Be mindful (of others and yourself)
Kumai's last bit of advice? It always pays to take the "self" out of self care. "I just really try to be more mindful of others, and I feel like when you practice good habits and when you're a good person, you feel really good and have less stress," says Kumai. "And when you have less stress, your whole life really starts to improve."
Since stress has been potentially linked to a whole host of issues (ranging from your mental health to your gut health), removing it from the equation can streamline everything from your workday to your social life, setting you up with a foundation to last. Did we just unravel the secret to self care?
Sign up for Reebok UNLOCKED, shop your fave activewear looks, and rack up points to climb your way through tiers to earn beauty products, fitness classes, and more rewards—all curated by us!
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Photos: Tim Gibson for Well+Good
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