Have you heard of the Blue Zones? These are certain areas of the world where clusters of people are stretching the limits of longevity. These are vibrant, healthy individuals who seem to have discovered the fountain of youth and are living past age 100. Dan Buettner, explorer and National Geographic fellow, along with a team of medical and nutritional specialists, interviewed hundreds of elders around the world to understand what they had in common. The Blue Zones they focused on were Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, the Greek Island Ikaria, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California which is home to a group of Seventh Day Adventists who live 10 years longer than the average American.
2. Stop before you're full. They tend to eat slowly and stop eating when they are about 80% full. They also tend to eat their biggest meals at midday.
3. Imbibe. Except for the Adventists, most adults in the Blue Zones drink alcohol, usually wine, in moderation (1-2 glasses /day)
4. Stay active. They typically move naturally in ways that don't put their joints under stress.
5. Relax. Stress is part of life, but people in the Blue Zones often take time each day to escape it.
6. Follow your heart. People who live the longest have a deep sense of purpose - a reason for getting out of bed every morning - which may add up to seven years to a life.
7. Have faith. Most centenarians belong to a faith-based community.
8. Put loved ones first. Caring for children, committing to a life partner, and keeping aging parents nearby is something people in the Blue Zones have in common.
9. Positive Influences. Most centenarians surround themselves with people who support healthy behaviors and who encourage them to stay active, eat right, and enjoy life!