Longevity and happiness? – Blue Zones

Is there a relationship between longevity and happiness?

Blue Zones? Five places around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives.

• Today.com > “5 tips for living to 100 from a top longevity researcher” by Stephanie Thurrott (Sept 8, 2023) – Dan Buettner, who has been studying people who live the longest for 20 years, shares their secrets.

  • Eat a whole-food, plant-based diet.
  • Try to get eight hours of sleep a day.
  • Know and be able to articulate your sense of purpose.
  • Move naturally all day long.
  • Curate four or five friends who have healthy habits.

Don’t assume you’ll find your purpose at work. That’s only true for fewer than 30% of Americans. “It could be at your church, it could be with your family, it could be with volunteering,” Buettner says. “But when you have a sense of purpose you’re more likely to get out and move every day. You’re more likely to find friends and be a good friend. You’re more likely to eat healthy. It’s far more powerful than we think.”

More in the news cycle about Blue Zones, where people “are living longer without intentionally setting out to do so.”

Including Okinawa, “Ikaria, an island off the coast of Greece in the Aegean Sea, and the mountain villages of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy.”

Is seaweed in your diet? Beans? Herbs? How can our urban diets incorporate an “eat-from-the-land” tone?

• NPR > “7 habits to live a healthier life, inspired by the world’s longest-lived communities” by Allison Aubrey (September 9, 2023) – Dan Buettner’s new Netflix documentary, Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, is trending as a top streaming pick.

  • Trade the La-Z-Boy for a mat and a garden
  • Ditch DoorDash and eat like a peasant
  • Reduce meat and aim for a plant-forward approach
  • Give loneliness the boot — become a joiner
  • Revamp social media to cultivate friends and a sense of purpose
  • In lieu of an afternoon espresso, take a nap
  • Trade big-city rents for an affordable home (and maybe keep your parent nearby)

Buettner acknowledges that the original blue zones are fading. The isolation of many of these communities has helped preserve the traditional way of life, but urbanization and the global economy are pushing people to more modern lifestyles.

Local references

• SoCal > South Bay > Beach Cities > BCHD > About Blue Zones Project

What if generations of people could live longer, healthier, happier lives? What if it wasn’t so hard to do because their surroundings made it easy? Leveraging secrets discovered in Blue Zones® around the world — rare longevity hotspots — Blue Zones Project is helping transform communities across the U.S. into areas where the healthy choice is easy and people live longer with a higher quality of life.

1 comment on “Longevity and happiness? – Blue Zones

  1. Fountain of youth

    Lifespan vs. healthspan? Cultural worth vs. meaning?

    Are Hollywood and media celebrities good role models for aging? Or those who see themselves as “special people who ought to live a long time?”

    At my health club, what I mostly see are other seniors exercising in various ways to stay active (rather than sedentary). Moving all the joints. Stretching. Maintaining upper and lower body fitness. Putting in the time, not trying to buy health.

    Wellness is being able to play tennis, pickleball, golf, or to swim. Or doing all the chores at home. Or even just walking without pain.

    And pain – from injuries or chronic wear & tear – sometimes results in surgeries and PT (physical therapy). And decisions for shoulder, hip, knee replacements.

    So, generally, what I see and hear about is quite routine, sensible. Accommodating the same old, same old aches & pains. Extending activity, not turning back the clock. Nothing’s guaranteed. There’s no fountain of youth, eh.

    This article is about a buzzy pursuit of wellness: expensive supplements or biohacking, longevity coaches or anti-aging programs. Longevity, Inc. selling the hope of a longer life.

    • Washington Post > “‘Aging is a disease’: Inside the drive to postpone death indefinitely” by Karen Heller (November 6, 2023) – Compared with our ancestors and other species, many of us will enjoy a wealth of years. Is it greedy to strive for more?

    [In the United States] More than 10,000 people turn 65 every day.

    The wellness industry tends to cater to clients who can pay strangers to help them feel better about themselves.

    “I think that the wealthier we become and the more unhappy we are, the more we have to search for meaning in this life,” said [Peter] Attia, 50, a physician and the co-author of the chart-topping “Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity.”

    There’s a fervent desire to reverse decades of bad habits. “People are gaining back the years that they lost through unhealthy lifestyles,” Olshansky [S. Jay Olshansky, 69, an authority on aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago] said. “We’ve been really good at shortening our lives. We’re masters at it.”

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