Blue Zones Power 9: Discover the Lifestyle Habits of the World’s Healthiest, Longest-Lived People

By Holly DelHousaye – A Resident of Westminster Village Scottsdale Retirement Community

Did you know that nine, simple factors might help you live a longer life? What began as a National Geographic expedition led by Dan Buettner to uncover the secrets of longevity soon evolved into the discovery of the five places around the world where people consistently live to more than 100 years old — also known as Blue Zones.

What are Blue Zones?

Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live the longest lives, consistently reaching age 100. In contrast, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is currently 76 years, according to the CDC.

Dan and his team of researchers distilled the evidence-based, common denominators of Blue Zones into core commonalities now referred to as the Power 9. They have since taken these principles into communities across the United States, working with policy makers, local businesses, schools and individuals to shape the environment of the Blue Zones Project Communities. These Power 9 principles at the core of Blue Zone living include:

  • Move naturally: Live in an environment that nudges moving without thinking about it. Grow gardens and do not use mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.
  • Purpose: Figure out “why you wake up in the morning.” Knowing a sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.
  • Downshift: Create routines to shed stress. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease.
  • 80% Rule: Stop eating when you are 80% full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it.
  • Plant slant: Make beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, the cornerstone of your diet.
  • Wine at 5: Drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive nondrinkers. The trick is to drink one to two glasses per day with friends and/or food.
  • Belong: Being a part of any community helps extend life expectancy.
  • Loved ones first: Make your family your top priority. Keep aging parents and grandparents nearby, commit to a life partner (which can add up to three years to your life expectancy) and invest in children with time and love.
  • Right tribe: Commit to social circles that support healthy behaviors. Research shows smoking, obesity and loneliness are contagious — but so is happiness.

Blue Zones Power 9

Find a Holistic Lifestyle Approach to Wellness at Scottsdale’s Westminster Village

At Westminster Village, you’ll find many of these Power 9 lifestyle habits are part of everyday life in our continuing care retirement community.

From our beautiful natural surroundings to our wellness programs and opportunities for social engagement, we simultaneously serve the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual interests of our Scottsdale residents.

Through comprehensive programs and services, we strive to create a nurturing Life Plan Community in Arizona that supports overall well-being and fosters a sense of purpose, vitality and joy in our residents’ daily lives.

Schedule a tour at Westminster Village today and discover new ways to enjoy lifelong learning, inspire personal connection, deepen creative expression and elevate physical movement.