Are You in the Blue Zone?

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In September 2009 Dan Buettner gave a talk at TED where he detailed the findings of research he has done on what he calls “Blue Zones” – areas where people live to be really old. And not just old – vital. They’re still physically active. They maintain a sharp wit and a discerning mind.

Somehow these people have figured it out.

My first reaction was – boy I’d love to take a swim in their gene pool. But according to Mr. Buettner, only 10% of their longevity is determined by genetics -- the other 90% is lifestyle.

Wellness means many things, but for most of us one of the key components to wellness is how long we live. We quit smoking, go on diets, stuff ourselves with expensive vitamins and supplements all in the name of being healthier with the expectation that we will live better and also longer.

Mr. Buettner offers “nine commandments” for living a long life – things which all of the super-seniors had in common:

1. Move Naturally: Incorporate regular, non-stressful physical activity into your daily life.

2. Downshift: Slow down & de-stress. Stress ignistes an inflammatory response that can lead to a number of health issues.

3. Purpose Now: Take time every day to remind yourself why you’re doing what it is you do.

4. Wine @5: Drink a little bit every day (whoohoo!)

5. Plant Slant: Eat more plants than anything else

6. 80% Rule: Stop eating when you’re 80% full

7. Loved Ones First: Maintain close contact with extended family. It may feel like it’s killing you, but it turns out to be healthy (I added that part J)

8. Belong: People with a large social network of close friends live longer

9. Right Tribe: If the people around you have unhealthy habits, it’s likely that you will too.

Just out of curiosity and I checked off which of the nine I am currently doing – being generous with myself I’m at 4 out of 9.

He doesn’t tell how many extra years that buys me, but I’m hoping for a few.

Hoping this finds you well.

Jacob Braude
VP, Planner


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