In Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones, he identified five places in the world where people lived to be 100 at ten times the average rate. In the Blue Zone the health and fitness of the people in those areas was extremely outstanding and they live much longer and much healthier lives on into a much riper old age. These people are said to be very vibrant in health and in strength and even look and act many years younger than their actual ages.
The original Blue Zone people were from the following five areas of the world.
Loma Linda, California
Nicoya, Costa Rica
The Blue Zone people practice what is known as the Power of 9.
Power of 9
#1 Move Naturally
The people in the Blue Zones just move naturally. So many of us have a sedentary lifestyle, whether that’s sitting behind an office desk all day OR retired and watching tv. It is suggested that we move naturally and daily for at least 20 minutes a day.
#2 Know Your Purpose
We’re ALL here for a reason. I honestly believe that. I think I know my calling – but what’s YOURS? Why are YOU here? Do you know your purpose in life? We all have a purpose and if we don’t know what it is – we need to sit down and ponder that thought until we come up with our own answer.
#3 Have a Down Shift Hour
All of the people of the blue zones have a “downshift hour” each day and that’s just a time when they take a few minutes to an hour to ‘rewind.’ Whether that’s just taking a break to rest or setting down to chit chat with someone close for a bit.
#4 The Crucial 80% Rule
The 80% rule and that’s stop eating when you are 80% full. It is said that the blue zone people don’t set down to a table with full bowls of this and that and get refills when they finish one or two or three things on their plates but they fill their plates at the counter and they don’t overfill their plates and when that plate is empty they’re done.
#5 Plant Slant
They do eat meat, but they consider it more like a condiment and they eat only the healthiest and most lean meats and only about twice a week. Beans and lentils are the backbone of their diets. And they ‘say’ that snacking on a handful of nuts a day will add a few years to your life if you’re doing all these other things to be healthy.
#6 Wine @ Five
Wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and slow the progression of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Limit your daily intake to one glass for women and two glasses for men. Enjoy your drink over a meal or social hour with friends to experience the full benefits of Wine @ Five as the social interaction is an important component of this Power 9 principle. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can still benefit from the social connections aspect by sharing a cup of coffee or healthy smoothie with a friend.
There were 263 centenarians interviewed for the study by National Geographic on the blue zone people and of all of those 263 there were only 5 that did not belong to a civic or faith-based organization. These researchers say that being a part of a faith based service at least once a week can add 4 to 14 years to your life.
#8 Put Family and Loved Ones First
The people of the blue zones put their families and those they love the most – first in their lives and how in the world can you go wrong when you make that one of the rules you live by. This can take shape in many ways, from caring for your children or your aging parents and grandparents to being in a positive, committed relationship, which can add up to 6 years of life expectancy.
#9 Have a Close Knit Group of Friends
And they say that one of the 9 power points to living a healthy/happy life is being a part of a close knit/friends group. Assess who you spend time with outside your own home and then to proactively surround yourself with the right kinds of friends’.