I’ve recently been reading “The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons For Living Longer” By: Dan Buettner, so I figured I’d do a series on this since his studies are so fascinating!
If you don’t know what the “Blue Zones” are, it’s a term coined by Dan and his group (aka Team Quest) backed by National Geographic to go in and learn and study places on our planet where people lived the longest, healthiest lives.
These “Blue Zone” places include:
Yorba Linda, California
Nicoya, Costa Rica
What all Centenarians in these blue zones have in common:
- They have a Life purpose:
Successful centenarians have a strong sense of purpose. They feel needed and want to contribute to the greater good.
- They rely on a primarily plant based diet:
Not 100% plant based. Meat is primarily eaten as a special weekend dish and on special holidays – pork being one that they have in common. Fish is also consumed. Dairy is also sparingly used, and goat’s milk/cheese tends to be the dairy of choice. Goats milk helps protect from anti inflammatory diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease
- They stay active:
Most centenarians are avid walkers, gardeners and get some form of light, yet muscle and bone strengthening exercises
- They garden:
In Okinawa they plant their own medicinal gardens with turmeric and ginger. And the majority of them in all of these blue zones eat primarily off of their own garden. With Yorba Linda, CA being the exception. However they do keep their own herb gardens.
- They don’t overeat:
In Okinawa, the elders all say this prayer before they eat which is “Hara haci bu”. Which literally means eat until you’re 80% full. And the majority of centenarians eat light dinners
- They make family and friends a priority:
All of the centenarians in these Blue Zones live with or close to their families and get out regularly to meet and drink a glass of wine with friends.
- They have a positive outlook on life:
These centenarians didn’t make it to the age of 100+ by having a bad attitude. No way! They look on the bright side of life. They joke around, laugh at themselves and money isn’t a factor in terms of overall happiness.
And as a BONUS…here’s a fun little quiz that’ll help you calculate how long you’re going to live. All you have to do is answer an honest yes or no and remember how many times you answered YES to these questions.
Ready? Let’s begin!
- Answer YES if you get 7.5 hours of sleep at least 5 days per week.
- Answer YES if you eat at least 4 honest servings of fruits or vegetables each and every day.
- Answer YES if you haven’t smoked for at least 3 years.
- Answer YES if you have never had unprotected sex with a stranger. (Yep, it’s a real life longevity question)
- Answer YES if you belong to a faith based community that you show up to 4 times a month.
- Answer YES if you have at least 3 good friends who you like, can have a serious conversation with, and and can call on a bad day and they actually care.
- Answer YES if can write down on a piece of paper in one short sentence your life meaning. What is your purpose in life?
- Answer YES if you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day (walking counts).
If you answered YES to:
- 3 or fewer your life expectancy is about 76 and you can expect to have 5 bad years at the end of your life (Aka, Morbidity)
- 4-6 your life expectancy is around 84 with only 3 years of morbidity.
- 6+ you can expect to live to be 90
- All 8…You are a Blue Zone Rockstar! And you can expect to live to be 92.
But the number 1 question that best helps predict your life expectancy is…How long do you think you’ll live?
So, based on these questions, how long do you think you’re going to live? What “Blue Zone” habit do you already have? Comment below!
Excited to share how you can create your own blue zones next week!