If you haven’t tuned into the show on Netflix called “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones”, you need to!  Blue zones are regions of the world that have higher than average life span.  This documentary is visiting several blue zones and pointing out several key practices that they feel increased the longevity in these regions.  READ ON to learn a few take-aways you can do right now….

  1. Exercise: While you have heard you need to exercise for decades this documentary dives further into what this looks like for these particular pockets of longevity. These people are going out and hitting the gym.  They are active every single day doing ordinary things.  One region was so hilly that just walking to church, which many of them did daily provided significant exercise.  In Okinawa, they slept on a mat on the floor and sat on the floor which required them to maintain muscles of getting up and down therefore helping them maintain balance longer.  Their day-to-day activities kept them active.  We take so many shortcuts. Perhaps making ourselves squat down and pick up things off the floor daily would be in our best interest!  Instead of relying on Roomba, pull out the vacuum cleaner.  Get outside and pull some weeds.  Your everyday chores add up for a healthier lifestyle…if you let them!
  2. Diet: Across many regions, they found food rich in antioxidants stemming veggies/fruits that were staples in the diets. Foods that had were purple were found in many regions. The purple color is thought to be higher in anti-oxidants.  They also noticed increased green tea, unique coffee practices (like diluted coffee sipped throughout the day or boiled coffee) were in many blue zone areas.  Majority of the food was real rather than store bought processed foods and primarily plant based.  In fact, one of the blue zones was modernized and now it is no longer a blue zone and the author felt like the fast food restaurants were a contributing factor to its’ decline.
  3. Purpose: I loved this one and wrote down the word: Ikigai (ee-key-guy).  This is a Japanese concept meaning what gives your life worth or purpose.  Also found when what you love meets what you are good at.  Finding your purpose keeps you going therefore translating into longevity.  What is your Ikigai?  It’s not too late!
  4.  Community: Studies have shown over and over that isolation is one of the fastest ways for health to decline.  We all saw that in Covid where all the nursing homes and memory care units were cut off from their loved ones.  Most of the blue zone regions don’t even have nursing homes.  Their community took care of them.  Groups gathered to cook, play games, talk or help each other with chores.  Stepping out of isolation can be daunting but find your community because everyone benefits.
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Take a moment to watch this series for more interesting observations.  My take-away was these people are active in their day-to-day lives and are surrounded by community.  Share what your take away is!

To your health,