About 20 years ago, author Dan Buettner, working for National Geographic and with a grant from the National Institute on Aging, started studying the world’s longest-lived people. They’re the ones who reside in the so-called Blue Zones of longevity.
Basically, his goal was to reverse-engineer longevity. Since an estimated 20% of a person’s life span is dictated by genes, he deducted that if he could find common denominators among people who’ve achieved healthy outcomes, some powerful lessons for longevity might emerge. He identified nine common to all five Blue Zones. They are —
Move naturally — Many long-lived people have active lives without really trying. They have gardens or work outside, and walk for transportation.
Find purpose — Having a good reason to wake up every morning can add as much as seven years to your life.
Downshift — Every lifestyle has stress. The trick is having a way to relieve that stress, like taking naps or medidating.
Follow the 80% rule — Stop eating when your stomach is 80% full. That can be the difference between weight loss and weight gain.
Eat mostly plants
Drink wine at 5 — But drink in moderation.
Find belonging — All but five of the 263 interviewed centenarians belonged to some faith-based community.
Put loved ones first — This includes keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby.
Find the right community — The world’s longest-lived people are members of social circles that support healthy living.
The bottom line from Buettner’s study is the average person’s life expectancy could increase by 10 to 12 years by adopting a Blue Zones lifestyle.
Taken from “9 Habits That The World’s Healthiest & Longest-Lived People Share,” (https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/habits-that-worlds-longest-lived-people-share?) which was adapted from The Blue Zones Challenge: A 4-Week Plan for a Longer, Better Life (National Geographic/ Dan Buettner/ Pub: 12/7/21).