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Blue Zones: Living Longer and Better

Blue Zones

There are certain regions of the world known as Blue Zones and it’s getting more attention around the globe. Let’s learn about  them together. 

By Eboni Gee

In Blue Zones, people are not only living longer, they are thriving in their older ages, 100 years and older. These people live lives of lower stress, and less inflammation and chronic diseases. Their diets are healthy and full of variety. The founder of the term “blue zones”, Dan Buettner identified nine specific lifestyle habits called the Power 9. These nine habits come from four concepts: move, right outlook, eat wisely, and connect.

Nine Blue Zones

Here are the nine habits and what they mean:

  1. Move naturally– consistently leading a life of movement such a gardening, walking farther and taking the stairs
  2. Purpose– identifying your reason for being can add up to sevens years of extra life
  3. Downshift– routines that deal with stress are key
  4. 80% Rule– eating stops when you are 80% full. They say the 20% gap between not being hungry and being full could be the difference in losing or gaining weight. In these zones, the smallest meals are eaten in the late afternoon, early evening and then the next meal is breakfast the next day.
  5. Plant slant– Their meals are rich in beans while meat, mostly pork, is only eaten about five times per month.
  6. Wine at 5– drinking a moderate amount of alcohol regularly, socially and with meals
  7. Right tribe– social circles that support healthy behaviors
  8. Loved ones first– caring for aging family at home and close and have committed partners
  9. Belong– to some faith based community and attends services can add 4-14 years of life expectancy

Tips for Success

Incorporating these habits are great ways to potentially increase our life expectancy and live better in our current ages. One way to do this and increase your success is to prioritize what you can add now and what might need to be added later. There are many reasons for delaying creating a habit; you don’t have the capacity, you don’t have the time or you don’t have the tools. Self-awareness of where you are and what’s realistic in this moment can increase the chances of succeeding at the habits you can make. You can make a plan for other habit later, on your own timeline.

Another great way to add these amazing habits to your life is to have fun and be flexible. You will not always have the day you planned. But, with planning you can recover quicker and get back on track faster.

The Blue Zone food guidelines are based on what the world’s longest living people have eaten. Among some of the guidelines are:

  • Eat meat about 5 times per month
  • Reduce dairy
  • Limited sugar, eggs and fish
  • Water, nuts and beans daily
  • Heavily plant-based meals

For a list of the guidelines click HERE.

Pro-tip: Bring your family and friends along the journey as well. Not only are you fostering your tribe, you are also sharing lifestyle habits that can grow to impact communities and generations of lives.

Making changes to our lifestyle can be hard work. Learning different ways to increase your life expectancy and condition of your body as you age can change the game. By integrating some of these habits into your life you can start to prevent or slow the progression of chronic diseases that take years off of your life.

For more information visit https://www.bluezones.com/

 

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