Blue Zones Ground Zero of Longevity

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on November 12th, 2022
Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the best ways to understand how people can live longer is to go straight to the source! Researcher Dan Buettner has located outliers throughout the planet that he has coined as Blue Zones.

These are areas where people are exceptionally likely to live to be one hundred years old. He went to these regions, talked to the people there, and collected data about their lives.

These cities are located all over the globe, from Loma Linda, California, to Okinawa, Japan. Other Blue Zones include Sardinia (Italy), Icaria (Greece), and Nicoya (Costa Rica).

While these places are dispersed all over, they share some distinct similarities which make them conducive to long healthy lives. Let's get into the details.

A Life With Meaning

People that live long lives are often driven by a desire to live with purpose. They find ways to feel inspired to see another day. A particular life force encapsulates one's determination to see tomorrow. In Okinawa, they call it “ikigai.” In Costa Rica, it's termed “el plan de Vida.”

Furthermore, folks in Blue Zones tend to live in interconnected communities that allow people to thrive and flourish while preventing them from withering into obscurity.

Staying Busy on Your Feet

If you want to live to one hundred, you should do your best to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Blue Zone cultures tend to be heavy on moderate exercise.

These tend to be places where people walk rather than drive. Cycling is also done every day. Many such locations still have an emphasis on manual labor, such as the agriculturalists of Sardinia.

Culturally Integrated Stress Management 

Stress is hazardous to longevity. It eats away at one's life force, sapping men's Testosterone and leading to other forms of Hormone Imbalance. Chronic Stress is correlated with heart disease, obesity, and many other risk factors for early mortality.

People in the Blue Zones manage stress through various methods, including meditation, prayer, siestas, honoring ancestors, and even a little after-work wine.

Get Your Fill While Avoiding Gluttony

Areas with a high volume of Centenarians tend to place a cultural emphasis on eating well without gorging. This is best characterized in Okinawa, where the people live by the Confucian concept of “Hara Hachi bu.”

Think of this as mild caloric restriction. Under this practice, people eat conscientiously, purposefully avoiding the sensation of feeling full. They regularly exercise their willpower to stop eating at around 4/5s full.

Blue Zone Diets also tend to include only modest amounts of meat and commonly feature very light alcohol consumption.

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