Living an active, fulfilling life well into your 90s—and possibly your 100s—may be easier than you think.
I’m currently reading Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones. A longevity expert, Mr. Buettner has traveled the world to meet the oldest people on the planet. They live in unique communities called Blue Zones that have common elements of diet, lifestyle and outlook on life that have led to not only an amazing number of years lived, but also a better quality of life.
I was first introduced to the Blue Zones in 2005, when I read Buettner’s National Geographic article, The Secrets of Living Longer. (video/slideshow). At the time I was particularly interested because I was pursuing a graduate degree in public health in Loma Linda, California, the only Blue Zone in North America. The other Blue Zones include Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan; and Ikaria, Greece. Centenarians in these Blue Zones have lived active lives and have reached their golden years happier, with fewer diseases, and with a wonderful circle of friends and family around them. In Buettner’s book, the world’s healthiest, long lived people share their wisdom, insights about living well, including everything from child rearing to finding and keeping love in your life.
What I love so much about the concept of Blue Zone living is that the focus is not only on how to live longer—that’s just an added benefit—but also how to live well and improve your quality of life.
Although I’ve always been health conscious, since I became a stay-at-home mom I’ve learned to slow down, be healthier, and take time to fully enjoy and appreciate life around me. I try to buy my produce in season and cook meals for my family—focusing primarily on natural, whole foods and ingredients—take walks, and spend quality time with my circle of family and friends.
Of course life is still busy, especially with a toddler! So every now and then I must remind myself to take time to reflect on how I want to live and what I can do to create the healthy home environment I aspire to have. I would like my son to learn how to live life well from a young age. My hope is not only to raise a little citizen of the world, but also a healthy and happy one. Hence, the journey begins with me.
In my next series of posts, La Vie en Bleu: Blue Zone Living, I will share what Mr. Buettner reveals as nine powerful and simple lessons that can help put anyone on the path to a healthier and happier life. Won’t you join me?
Get Ready to Change Your Life!