Longevity scientists, for over a decade, have been studying some what they call “Blue Zones” which are geographic regions around the globe where people live particularly long, healthy, and happy lives. Longevity charts target the areas, but scientists are interested in these areas’ shared traits, traditions, and how residents stay energetic (never fat in the Blue Zones) into their nineties. Here are some of their lifestyle habits–
Life-long secret #1– FINDING MEANING EVERY DAY. Feeling that our lives have worth and meaning is proven to have longevity benefits and lowers our risk for disease. In Blue Zones everyone works and is active in their community and routinely pitch in for others. Tip, jot down five things you’d like to do. Everyone is good at something. Make time for it and volunteer while gaining purpose. Thank you for the feedback.
Life-long secret # 2– NOT CLEANING YOUR PLATE. Folks in Blue Zones eat highter than average amounts of fruit and vegetables simply because meat is expensive. Because fruit and vegetables contain more fiber, they eat fewer calories. Consequently, these thinner people have lower risk of age-related diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers. Their diet decreases inflammation and oxidative damage at the cellular level. Friends, remember last week when I blogged out the small amount of hydrocloric acid humans have in stomachs? HCl digests meat, and we are not supposed to eat large portions of meat. I returned to this post to add this (because of comments): Some fraternity and sorority actives are still hazing with peer pressure by taking new member pledges out to do shots!
Long-life secret #3– SKYPING WITH LOVED ONES. Generally, people who live in Blue Zones are without computers but extended families often live together. Studies show that people with close family ties live ten years longer. Tip, let technology help you stay connected by phone, iphone, text-messaging, twitter, facebook, or Skype which provides video phone service. If short on family, friends count!
Long-life Secret #4 is EXERCISE THE EASY WAY. Blue Zone residents keep fit but not by working out unless they like riding their bicycle to the market or engage in a fun sport. Mostly they vigorously tackle what needs to be done in the house or garden, and this keeps their muscles strong and burns calories. A tip, try vacuuming quickly, weeding your garden, or simply play outside with your kids or grandkids. While staying in shape, we get rewards– clean house, neat garden, and deeper relationships.
Life-long secret #5 is NOT COUNTING BIRTHDAYS. In America we focus on actual numbers, but in Blue Zones the age is less important. In Greece and the Balkans, people celebrate Name Days instead of birthdays. Blue Zones celebrate wisdom more than youth. A tip, set out candles to celebrate the experiences, accomplishments and wisdom you’ve gained throughout your life.