Experts believe these are the keys to living a long life

Blue zones are places where people live longer. These territories can be found in octogenarians as well as nonagenarians. There are also many centenarians. Some super centenarians have even reached the age of 110.

These areas were named “blue Zones” because , a Belgian demographer, and , an Italian doctor, discovered such a population in Barbaglia (Sardinia), Italy. They marked the area with blue ink.

One out of every 196 people born between 1880-1890 was 100 years old, according to a demographic study done at the start of the century.

Later, American researcher  began a project to identify other areas with high longevity. He discovered four more regions. These areas were also called “blue zones” and included Okinawa (Japan), , Greece, (California), These territories have a high number of long-living people. Each area has specific characteristics that relate to its condition.

The largest concentration of centenarians in the world is in Barbaglia, a region located in the Sardinian mountains. The oldest woman on Earth lives on Okinawa Island. Icaria, an island in the Aegean sea, has the longest-lived population and the lowest levels of senile dementia. houses a group of Seventh-day Adventists, whose average life expectancy is 10 more than the average American. Nicoya is home to the second-largest community of centenarians worldwide.

Is there a secret to this remarkable longevity? The mystery of the blue areas, where many centenarians reside.

Led a team of specialists that included doctors, anthropologists and demographers, and nutritionists and epidemiologists. They traveled many times to different blue zones. The following nine general longevity factors were identified and are linked to lifestyle and diet:

  1. Regular, intense physical activity is required to perform daily tasks. These people are not aware of the concept of a sedentary lifestyle.
  2. An  is a Japanese term (Okinawa), which is used to describe our “reasons for being”, or, more specifically, why we get up in the morning.
  3. Stress reduction is a key factor in almost all age-related diseases. To reduce stress, you must interrupt the normal pace of your daily life to make time for activities that are a normal part of your social routines. You could take a nap in Mediterranean countries, pray in the case of Adventists, or attend the Okinawa tea ceremony for women.
  4. “Hara hachi bu”, Confucian teaching, means that we should stop eating until we feel full. Instead, we should eat only up to 80% of our eating capacity.
  5. Prioritize a diet rich in plant-based foods. You can eat meat, fish, and dairy products, but only in smaller amounts.
  6. Moderate alcohol consumption is correlated with a longer life expectancy than those who don’t drink.
  7. Engaging in groups that encourage healthy lifestyles
  8. Engaging in religious communities that share common religious practices
  9. Building and maintaining strong relationships among family members, including parents, siblings, grandparents, and other relatives.

The above nine longevity factors can be summarized in two words.

First, a healthy lifestyle means regular intensity exercise and routines to “break” daily stress.

Second, integration in groups that support and promote those “good practices”, such as family, religious communities, and social groups, must have their own “ikigai”, or reason to live. There is a personal “ikigai”, and there is also a collective one that sets the goals for each community and the challenges to be overcome.

This way of living is better and more enjoyable. While genes determine longevity, it can also be taught, as the blue zone residents have shown.

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