In his book The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the people who’ve lived the longest, explorer, writer, producer, and National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner shares his insights from studying the world’s so-called “Blue Zones” where people live the longest lives.
So what did Buettner discover through his research? While things like your family’s genetic history, where you grew up, and where you live and work may be largely beyond your control, there are ways you can make behavioral changes to help increase longevity and quality of life for both yourself and your loved ones. How can you build a Blue Zone of your own?
Buettner found evidence that cultures who embraced some combination of these three components seemed to significantly impact their lifespan:
- and Spirituality.
So what might creating your personal “Blue Life” look like?
Buettner suggests the following:
Healthy long lived individuals stay more active for most of their lives. If you are physically able, add more activity to your day, even if it is less convenient. For example: take the stairs, do your own yard work, walk more places, rely less on electronic gadgets (TV remotes, garage door openers, blenders, can openers), start a garden (and eat your own harvest!), ride a bike, swim laps, do Yoga or some similar exercise routine; and of course consume more healthy, homemade meals than processed foods and fast foods, and drink in moderation.
Healthy long lived individuals have a healthy faith of some kind. To quote Buettner “The simple act of worship is one of those subtly powerful habits that seems to improve your chances of having more good years.” Participating in regular religious services, even if just once a month, can make a difference in how long a person lives. Why? It may be that having a faith gives a structured framework for experiencing the world positively and dealing with life’s decisions and unexpected moments, helping to reduce stress and providing a path for right living and behavior– knowing a higher power is in control.
Healthy long lived individuals take part in family and community life. Perhaps the most important component of longevity is not just those ideas listed above, but rather that those activities and routines be shared with others in a healthy community of support, love and relationship. Put your family first and create family rituals that focus on togetherness. Maintain a proactive community of relatives, friends, and work associates who share your same values and life goals; a mutual support network (or inner circle) to surround yourself with especially when times are difficult or when celebrating life’s milestones. Even just 30 minutes a day of group activity with your close social network can positively impact how long you will live.
For much more information and many great resources visit BlueZones.com
Just an idea.
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