Book: Blue Zones – Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest. By Dan Buettner

This book is essential for anyone interested in living a clean, healthy lifestyle. I read this book on a beach in Mexico and have never been so inspired to LIVE.

The book is based on a National Geographic Series following the longest living humans on the planet. It focuses on indicating what is believed to be the techniques that helped them live so long. Author Dan Buettner travelled to each of the places to speak with the elders. He met hundreds of people between the ages of 90 and 110. It was fascinating to hear the different stories and to see the similarities between lifestyles.

The author travelled to four different blue zones: Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, and Hojancha, Costa Rica. I would like to use this post to highlight the similarities between blue zones to help readers get an understanding of how they can extend their lives by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes.

1) Get off your butt! All centenarians studied were active people all their lives. For most the key was not the gym or weight room…the key was just living a lifestyle where they had to move. Many walked to the local markets to get their food. Others grew their own food and had to stay active to maintain their gardens.

2) Don’t over eat! In Japan they call it Hara Hachi Bu and it means stop eating when you are 80% full! This will help you lose weight which in turn will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. As a side note most blue zone members ate their biggest meal at mid-day and saved their smaller meals for later in the evening.

3) Avoid Meat and Processed Foods. Many centenarians did eat meat but they ate it as a delicacy and only would indulge once or twice a month. Processed foods were not in any of their diets. They focused mainly on plant based foods and nuts.

4) Wine! Drink wine in moderation. One small glass a day has great long-term health benefits. Any more than 2 glasses and the risks outweigh the benefits!

5) Have a purpose! As yourself “what is my purpose.” Many centenarians say it is seeing their family grow up or keeping great friendships. Others have hobbies or jobs.

6) De-Stress!!! Find ways that help you de-stress (this is another post on its own!)

7) Belong…Have faith. Participate in a spiritual community. It doesn’t really matter what religion! It has been proven that attending a religious ceremony once per month will prolong your life.

8) Make family a priority…

9) Surround yourself with like-minded people…

These last two are extremely important in living a long healthy life for obvious reasons.

This list shows some typical traits of earth’s oldest humans! If you want to be one of them someday…follow these.