Perhaps you’ve heard the common phrase in regards to property: it’s all about “location, location, location!”
But, could something as serious as lifespan be equally affected by the same principle?
It turns out that location may have a lot to do with how long some people live.
*Or…is there more to it than that?*
Specific regions across the globe have been dubbed “blue zones” due to the fact that residents of these areas tend to be healthier, happier, and live longer than the average person.
And of course, stats like that pique curiosity and prompt research!
So, what has the world learned from residents of these blue zones? Is it really all due to “location, location, location?” And, what can we glean from their secrets to a long and healthy life?
What Are Blue Zones?
Author Dan Buettner is attributed with first using the phrase “blue zones” to describe areas he has observed in his travels and research, 5 very specific regions of the world, where you’ll find the world’s oldest people.
- Sardinia, Italy
- Okinawa, Japan
- Ikaria, Greece
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
- Loma Linda, California
Residents of each of these blue zone regions not only live longer, but they are said to be happier and healthier as well.
So, what’s their secret?
If you’re like most people, your mind probably gravitates to the conclusion that genetics surely play a large role in blue zone resident longevity. But, it turns out that for these folks living to ages even past 90-100 years, genetics seems to only account for 20-30% of their long lifespan.
Taking genetics out of the equation, the secret to blue zone longevity seems to lie in environmental factors like diet, exercise, stress management, connection, and lifestyle.
Buettner has seen such a strong connection between these factors and longevity that he’s even done (successful) trials in midwestern areas here in the states seeking to mimic the lifestyles of those living in blue zones.
In other words, you don’t have to live in a blue zone to reap the same rewards to your health and life!
Check out these common threads woven through the long, healthy, and happy lives of blue zone residents:
What To Eat
Residents of blue zone regions are commonly known to consume whole foods, with most of those foods consisting of green vegetables.
While consuming meat is not out of the question, most choose to eat meat only on rare occasions and mainly opt for fish as a source of protein.
Other foods common to a diet amongst blue zone residents include:
- olive oil (this was a staple seen in all 5 blue zones)
- whole grains
- legumes (beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas)
- fatty fish (high in omega-3s)
- fruits and vegetables (aside from their primary source being green vegetables)
- wine (most blue zone residents drink 1-2 glasses of good quality wine daily)
How Much To Eat
Blue zone residents are known to incorporate the 80% rule, where they will stop eating when they feel 80 percent full to avoid overeating.
Aside from this rule, residents of these areas regularly incorporate calorie restriction, which is known to promote longevity.
When To Eat
Residents of blue zones tend to stop eating by late afternoon. This gives a period of routine fasting time until morning (in this case, this would classify as intermittent fasting).
Religious practices common in a few of these regions also require regular times of fasting.
And, both of these methods of fasting are proven to aid in renewal processes within the body, boosting health and potentially increasing lifespan.
Exercise is incorporated in practical ways into daily life for those living in blue zone areas.
Many of these regions don’t have easy access to industrialized roads, so walking (even on steep terrain) is a normal daily practice.
Other functional chores like gardening, manual labor, farming, and other labor intensive duties are a part of everyday life in these areas as well.
Engaging in exercise in these ways also gives a sense of purpose as tasks are completed. And, this sense of purpose translates to feelings of being wanted/needed, which aids in overall wellness.
Most residents of blue zones are known to get adequate nighttime sleep in addition to routinely allowing for a brief daytime nap.
And, research shows daytime naps lasting less than 30 minutes may reduce the risk of heart disease and even death.
Some also report a lack of adherence to strict schedules in these regions, allowing their body to dictate how much sleep they need.
Purpose And Connection
Having purpose and finding ways to connect with others is commonly known to reduce stress, aid in promoting overall health, and increase happiness.
Residents of blue zone areas are known to be a part of religious communities, where both faith and social connection offer support and a sense of belonging.
People living in these areas are also commonly known to have strong family connections, often living with grandparents, parents, or other family members.
Cultivating friendships and being a part of a good social network has shown to provide improvements to overall health and longevity, a practice seen in blue zones as visits from friends and neighbors is common in these places.
And, as living a healthy lifestyle is proven to be easier with support, people living in blue zones report connecting with others to support and influence their decisions for healthy living.
Folks living in blue zone areas also seek to make de-stressing a regular habit.
Some of the religious cultures in these areas promote a stress-free lifestyle, while others simply recognize the importance of coping with stress to promote health and happiness.
Going for walks in nature, a routine practice in blue zones, is scientifically proven to reduce stress.
Meditation, breathing exercises, finding purpose, and being a part of a social group are also ways to promote stress relief.
The principles and practices woven into the lives of those living in blue zones have all been proven to aid in promoting health. So, it’s no wonder longevity is prominent in these regions.
Incorporating such lifestyle changes and seeking to connect with others making similar changes has shown to be beneficial in everything from improving heart health, losing weight, stabilizing blood sugars, reducing the risk of disease, and increasing lifespan.
So, before considering location, attempt a bit (or a lot) of modification to reap the blue zone lifestyle rewards of a long, happy, and healthy life!
🌰 Crunchy nut slows down aging?
England scientists just discovered how to delay aging:
It involves a crunchy nut…
… But you DON’T eat it.
Instead, if you do this to the nut, it can actually slow down how quickly you grow old.
I know – it’s the weirdest thing I’ve heard today.
Yet this anti-aging hack really can help you look, move, and feel nearly 15-years younger.
And the research now proves it without a shadow of doubt.
So if you’re dealing with brain fog, low energy, weight gain, joint pain…
Or any other “old age” problem…
Then you should check this out now:
P.S. Steve L., a 57-year-old from New Mexico, wrote to us after trying this trick. Here’s what he said: “Since incorporating what I learned here, I have more energy, better focus, and a higher libido. My overall well-being is the best improvement I’ve seen!”