There are 5 blue zones of the planet. In these places, the population has the highest number of people who reach 100 years or greater. What do they have in common?
Move Naturally: People who live in the blue zones are ntt weekend warriors; their environment encourages them to move frequently at a slower pace throughout the day to garden, complete housework or walk in often hilly or mountainous terrain.1
Purpose: They emphasize the importance of living a meaningful life by committing to a goal, ideal, or cause – something greater than yourself.1
Downshift: Each blue zone has its own way of decompressing, be it through prayer, nap time, happy hour, or ancestor remembrance.1
80 Percent Rule: Not everyone eats until they feel completely full. Instead, Okinawans stop when they are 80-percent full, which helps with weight management.1
Plant Slant: Beans such as fava, black, soy, or lentils are a common dominator within diets, and vegetables are also a key player.1 Meat is on the menu on a more restrained way, which aligns more with environmental sustainability. Across the blue zones, meat is only eaten about five times per month.1
Relaxing Hour: Except for Loma Linda, blue zone residents partake in happy hour with moderate wine consumption.1 Sardinia is known for their Cannonau wine, which is said to have 2-3 times the level of antioxidants compared to other wines. Note that a high antioxidant diet can be achieved however without the alcohol.
Belong: A sense of faith might have a role in longevity; of the 263 centenarians interviewed for blue zones research, only five weren’t members of a faith-based community.1
Loved Ones First: Several generations live together under one roof or at least near one another, allowing everyone to spend more quality time together.1 Researchers also found having a life partner might boost life expectancy.1 Sleeping alone in advanced years was also indicated to promote restful sleep in some tribes.
Right Tribe: A strong social network helps reinforce healthy habits while providing emotional support.1
1. Buettner D, Skemp S. Blue zones: lessons from the world's longest lived. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016;10(5):318-321. doi:10.1177/1559827616637066
2. Adapted from Thorne Research Take 5 Daily