Living an active, fulfilling life well into your 90s and possibly your 100s – may be easier than you think!
There have been remarkable studies by the world demographist to analyse and to study the longest living nations/groups of people in the world and to see if there is something specific that they do in their lives in order to stay sharp in their mind and active and strong up to the last years of their life.
Demographist and National Geographic longevity expert Dan Buettner has developed a common notion of “Blue Zones” in the world – areas where common elements of lifestyle, diet and outlook have led to an amazing quality of life and where the numbers of centenarians (persons older than 100 years) in total population is outstandingly high.
At this moment there are five “Blue zone” areas which have been confirmed by the scientists – Sardinia in Italy, Loma Linda in California, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Okinawa in Japan and Ikaria in Greece. Even though there are many factors which contribute to the longevity of these people, there are few traits that come back in all with all these people.
- Have your tribe – being supported and surrounded by people with whom you share similar values and on whom you can count on in all life situations brings down your stress levels and gives you sense of belonging. Building strong relationships and connections in your life requires some effort but it is an investment that can pay back in added years.
- All these people have been eating for most of their life plant based diet. They do eat meat, but this is reserved for special occasions - for parties, family gatherings etc. Beans, whole grains and garden vegetables are the cornerstones of all these longevity diets. It is also interesting to mention that these populations eat daily nuts – it has been proved that nuts may help protect heart by reducing total blood cholesterol levels which in turn is contributing to lower level of cardiovascular diseases.
- Have your purpose ready – do you know why you wake up in the morning? All these centenarians are having a very strong sense of purpose. It can be something very simple as taking care of your family or making at least one person happy a day, it can be a hobby like creating something or your self-accomplishment at work. If you can identify the activity that gives you a sense of flow and make it the focus of your job or hobby, it can also become your sense of purpose.
As said there are a lot of lessons to learn from these people living in the “Blue zones”. If you would like to know your current Healthy Life expectancy and what you could do to add a few years to your life, check out the bluezones.com website!