What do the world’s longest-lived people have in common? The Blue Zone project set out to discover the answers. Here are the nine common traits that they discovered in areas where people often live to 100 and beyond:
- Move naturally: the world’s longest-lived people live in environments that encourage them to be active naturally. They don’t spend time in the gym or train for marathons. They walk far distances to work and home, plow fields daily, or deep-dive for shellfish.
- Have purpose: Blue Zone research found that having a strong sense of purpose can add up to seven years to life expectancy.
- Downshift stress: The longest-lived people have routines to shed stress, which left unaddressed, can cause chronic inflammation associated with major diseases.
- 80% Rule: Long-lifers stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full instead of overindulging.
- Eat a plant-based diet: Most long-lifers eat meat only about 5 times per month. Their diets are heavy on vegetables and beans.
- Be merry: Blue Zone found that moderate wine drinkers outlive non-drinkers, especially if they share those drinks with friends.
- Belong: Blue Zone also discovered that attending any denomination of faith-based services weekly added about 14 years of life expectancy.
- Put loved ones first: Most centenarians keep aging parents and grandparents nearby, commit to a life partner, and invest in their children.
- Keep healthy numbers: Long-lifers chose or were born into social circles that practice and promote healthy behaviors.
Learn more about where the “Blue Zones” are and how to adopt some of their healthy habits for yourself.
Consult your doctor before making any drastic lifestyle or diet changes.