With busy lives, busy schedules and distractions everywhere we are wearing ourselves down, wishing for more free time and putting our relationships on the back burner. We are seeing a reduction in health—and the quality of life overall. Where did we go wrong? How do we get back on track?
This isn’t happening everywhere. There are pockets throughout the world called Blue Zones, one right here in America, with the highest healthy life expectancy, where the highest number of people are reaching age 100. What are they doing that mainstream America isn’t?
A man named Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic to find out. Together they identified five locations: Barbagia region of Sardinia, Ikaria Greece, Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica, Loma Linda California, and Okinawa Japan, studied the culture and environment and developed a list of best practices called The Power of 9.
So what is it that we may be missing? Let’s have a look at the Power of 9.
- Move Naturally br>
If you are one who works out often, hits the gym or trains for triathlons you may find this one surprising. The healthiest people aren’t doing any of that; they are simply incorporating natural movement into their daily lives without thinking about it. We are talking about kneading bread, working in the garden, and working around the house.
- Purpose br>
Do you know why you wake up in the morning? What your purpose is? If you don’t, you might start trying to figure it out as it could add up to seven years to your life. The healthiest people wake up every day and know exactly why they are here.
- Down Shift br>
Do you experience stress in your life? Of course, you do, we all experience stress, it’s part of life. The key is taking the time to down shift and shed the stress. Each culture does this in their own way; it could be through praying, meditating or enjoying happy hour with some friends, do whatever works best for you.
- 80% Rule br>
No, we are not talking about the famous 80/20 rule here. We are talking about your stomach. The longest living people are mindfully eating until they are 80% full.
- Plant Slant br>
This one is exactly what it sounds like, keep a plant slanted diet. Enjoy an abundance of fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils. Keep the meat to a minimum. The typically Blue Zone enjoys meat about five times a month.
- Wine @ 5 br>
If drinking is not for you, simply skip this one. Those in the Blue Zones enjoy drinking regularly but moderately. We are talking about a glass of wine a day. The trick here is to enjoy your drink with some good friends.
- Belong br>
A majority of the longest living people all belong to some type of faith based community.
- Loved Ones First br>
This one is just as it sounds, put your family first. Take care of your aging parents and invest time and love in your children.
- Right Tribe br>
We are talking about social circles here. Do your five best friends consider a good time watching movies and eating pizza or getting outdoors for a long hike and a picnic? Both healthy and unhealthy habits are contagious, choose your friends wisely.
Of course living to age 100 is not guaranteed. We hope these tips help you live a longer, healthier, happier, life.