I’ve Been Thinking About Blue Zones…

By Holly DelHousaye – A Resident of Westminster Village

Did you know that what began as a National Geographic expedition led by Dan Buettner to uncover the secrets of longevity, evolved into the discovery of the 5 places around the world where people consistently lived over 100 years old?

Dan and his team distilled the evidence-based common denominators of these Blue Zones into commonalities they call 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. Here are the first eight:

  • 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 7 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. – Drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive nondrinkers.
  • Loved ones first. – Put families first. Keep aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home. Commit to a life partner (which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy) and invest in children with time and love.
  • Right tribe. – Commit to social circles that support healthy behaviors. Research shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious.