I recently came across a website called the blue zones. I found it so interesting that I just had to blog about it. The blue zones are areas in the world where a large percentage of the population is living well into their 80s, 90s and beyond. More than just being old, these elderly are also enjoying full and active living. The work is based on journalist Dan Buettner’s travels to 4 of these “blue zones” and the study of the commonalities of these elderly.
What I found interesting is that there isn’t so much a mystical fountain of youth, as much as habits that result in longer fuller lives. You might think that it’s all about diet. But actually the habits that Buettner found are more holistic! That makes perfect sense to me. Think of our first nation’s people perspective of wellbeing having a physical, emotional, spiritual and mental aspect. Beuttner found similar groupings of habits. There are physical habits, such a low sodium diet and regular movement activity, which lead to a longer life, as well as emotional and spiritual habits. For example, having a purpose to your life and engaging in regular group activities will add years to your life according to Buettner.
Another really interesting observation of Buettner was that elderly in the blue zones, tend to be revered and looked to for guidance and wisdom. I think that is really important. I once read an article about choosing to become a sage when you are older, as opposed to fearing or loathing the aging process. That seems a much more sensible approach since aging is something that is inevitable… you might as well make it meaningful and enjoyable.
So if you are interested in learning more of the habits of these centenarians or comparing their way of living to your current lifestyle, Buettner’s website has a vitality compass. By answering a number of questions the vitality compass will calculate your body’s current “age” based on your habits, as well as predicting how long to can hope to live free of major illness. And then best of all, it offers you suggestions for increasing your longevity.
I did the quiz and found it really interested.
In the wise words of the Vulcan Spock, “live long and prosper”