Blue Zone & Longevity
Dan Buettner, an author and longevity expert, and National Geographic joined forces to figure out what factors contribute to longevity. They studied areas all over the world, where there are a large number of people who live long and healthy lives. These studies also led to the creation of Blue Zones around the world, areas where longevity is common.
These were the five locations identified in their study.
- Barbagia region of Sardinia is a mountainous region that has the highest concentration of males over 100 years old.
- Ikaria, Greece is an Aegean Island with one of the world’s lowest rates of middle-age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica has the world’s lowest rates of middle-age mortality and the second-highest concentration of males over 100 years old.
- Seventh-Day Adventists around Loma Linda, California live 10 years longer than their North American counterparts.
- Okinawa, Japan has a group of females over 70 who are the longest-lived population in the world.
Compiling the common factors in these five zones, here is a short summary of lifestyle habits followed by the people there.
Just keep moving. They don’t go to the gym but they don’t spend hours in front of the computer. They are average people living average lives that include activities that require them to move a lot.
Know your purpose. When you have a purpose in life, whatever it is, you can add many years to your life. As long as you feel that you have a valuable contribution to make, you feel valued and that is healthy.
Manage Stress. No one is able to completely avoid stress. It’s a natural part of life. But living in constant stress will remove years from your life. You should know how to manage your stress.
Eat Less. If you eat too much, you shorten your life. This doesn’t mean fasting or fad dieting. Studies show that people who live longer lives tend to stop eating when they are 80 percent full. And they don’t snack into the evening.
Eat more plant. Most long-lived people eat a plant-based diet. They might eat meat once a week, but they always limit the amount to a small portion.
Drink wine moderately. The key phrase is regular moderation. One to two glasses a day seems to be the healthy amount to drink. If you can’t limit yourself, don’t drink at all.
Community. By being part of a faith based community and meeting around four times a month, you can add four to fourteen years to your life.
Family first. If you keep your ageing relatives close by, it benefits them and the rest of your family. If you commit to a life partner, you are likely to live longer.
Choose your social network carefully. If you are in a circle of friends that support healthy lifestyles, you’re likely to live that way as well. It’s self-fulfilling. Groups of friends that have known each other for a long time, and are committed to each other for life, tend to live longer lives.
June 12, 2022