Dan Buettner did a very interesting research on how to live a healthy and long life. He found out there are a few areas that he calls ‘blue zones’, where people live to be over a hundred years old in a measurably better way! Wow, who doesn’t want that? Since my sweet grandmother lived to be 98 and I myself am half Costarican (one of the blue zones) I had hoped I was blessed with great genes that made me set for an awesome 100+ life. But…genes are only about 10% responsibe! So….what’s the secret of the ‘blue zoners’?

1. They move naturally

None of the people he interviewed went to the gym. None! Instead, their lives were naturally filled with movement. They gardened, worked on a farm, or walked to the vineyard down the mountain every day. Also, when they did ‘exercise’, it was only for fun. Whether it was dancing, playing with the kids, sailing or playing soccer, they purely did it out of enjoyment.

2. They have the ‘right’ outlook

Work to live, instead of living to work. Also, one of the most important things he found was a strong sense of purpose, having a reason to get out of bed each day and that makes you truly enthousiastic. And…no matter how busy the day is, always have at least one moment of peace and relaxation every day!

3. They eat wisely

Their diets were mainly plant-based, so a lot of vegetables and fruit were consumed. Meat and processed food were an exception! Moderation seemed to be a key word, many of them ate about 80% of what they initially wanted to eat. We have a saying that goes: the eyes are bigger than the stomach, which is so true! Instead of piling up the food on their plate, they took a little less. It takes a little while for the brain to realize the stomach is full, so I personally thought this was a very good idea. But don’t think these ladies and gents were depriving themselves of some fun! A couple of glasses of red wine per day turned out be very common.

4. They belong to the ‘right’ tribe

A strong circle of family and friends, and a sense of belonging proved to be very critical. Often, the 100+ people lived with their children and grandchildren. It kept them young and gave them a sense of importance. Giving life advice to a grandchild is a win-win situation, good for everybody. For some guidance of their own, they turned to a higher power. They all had strong religious or spiritual belief system that made them resilient and grateful. Interesting stuff, right?

Watch the Ted talk video by Dan Buettner:

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To buy the book on Blue Zones by Dan Buettner on Amazon click HERE.

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XOXO Maruja