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What Exactly Are “Blue Zones”?

What Exactly Are “Blue Zones”?

Five regions on the planet where people have been statistically proven to live the longer.  They including:

1.     Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

2.     Barbagia region of Sardinia

3.     Ikaria, Greece

4.     Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California

5.     Okinawa, Japan

Based on the research findings of Michel Poulain and Giovanni Mario Pes on extreme longevity, author Dan Buettner wrote a 2005 feature article for National Geographic on the 9 habits he identified as the reasons why there are significantly more centenarians in these places than elsewhere in the world.  He went on to develop a blueprint for health and wellness living known as the Blue Zone lifestyle.

Common denominators

Despite being scattered across the globe and across cultures, Buettner found 9 specific lifestyle habits shared by the people living in these areas.  Far from a strict focus on diet and exercise for their own sake,  people in these areas have naturally adopted a wholistic approach to mind-body wellness.  They include:

  1. Physical fitness as a way of life.
  2. A healthy, simple diet full of beans.
  3. Balance & Moderation- in both diet and exercise.  It is the 80% rule, being aware of ones edge without going overboard.
  4. Strong social networks. They find their tribes.
  5. Family first.
  6. Plenty of rest.
  7. A life of purpose based on doing instead of consuming.
  8. Wine every day (well earned!).
  9. Regular sex.

 

As discussed in a previous blog, No Sweat Life founder Kendra and her family live part-time in one of the Blue Zones.  Splitting their time between the vibrancy of a urban city and the soft vitality of their remote community, Kendra and her family have absorbed the profound differences of the two ways of life.  Wellness lies at the heart of the family's sense of self in both places and yet, there is a space and a wholeness to life in a Blue Zone community that reveals simple, ancient truths to a long and happy life.  Here in the jungle it is called #PuraVida. 

Useful links

  1. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150412-longevity-health-blue-zones-obesity-diet-ngbooktalk/
  2. https://www.ted.com/speakers/dan_buettner
  3. The Island Where People Forget to Die


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