by: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
Then again, it could be that I just landed on a 2008 book on the topic that I found when I was searching around my home for something to read.
Dan Buettner, author of “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest” has some interesting observations from his research on four “blue zones” where people live longer than anywhere else on the planet: Sardinia, Italy, Loma Linda, California, Okinawa Japan and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. I called an old high school friend who moved to this latter area, Costa Rica, and he confirmed what I read.
His quality of life as always demonstrated one of my favorite quotes, “It’s not the years in your life it’s the life in your years.” Per capita, Costa Rica spends far less on health care than we do here in the United States, 15% of what we do on health care. Yet, Costa Ricans claim that people live longer there than anywhere on earth.
Here are the nine things Buettner found in common in each of the blue zones.
1. Daily activity
2. A mission in life that gives meaning to life
3. Eliminate the fast lane: slow it all down
4. Eat to only 80% full
5. Less protein, fewer processed foods, more veggies and fruits
6. Red wine in moderation (two glasses/day for men, one/day for women)
7. Healthy social relationship
8. Spiritual or religious involvement
9. Family is a priority
We don’t live in these blue zones, but perhaps we can create our own. Our gym can be an oasis of activity, meaning in finding health, slowing down, eating well, healthy social relationships and more.
The aging process and adding health are not the mystery they once were. Exercise adds to body and brain health. Let’s take advantage of every program the gym offers us! For more information, check out www.bluezones.com