Habeas Corpus: Want to Live to 100+?

In 2004, National Geographic teamed up with author Dan Buettner to research what it called “Blue Zones.”  Blue Zones are certain parts of the world where a large percentage of people seem to live longer than the rest of the planet.  The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to live in a Blue Zone to get all the benefits.  Buettner interviewed a score of Blue Zone population members who are lively, healthy and . . . really old, and then came up with a list of features that these extraordinary elders share in their lifestyles.  Try them out, and add some years to your life.

The Power 9

1. Moving naturally.  People in Blue Zones don’t have to set aside “gym” time.  Their exercise is part of their daily life.  They walk everywhere, they take the stairs, and they work in the garden.

2. Purpose.  Have a reason in life why you wake up in the morning.  Have a plan for your life, and have a clear perspective on your goals.

3. Relax.  Have a defined activity for every day that you use to relieve stress, such as prayer or even something as simple as a nap. 

4. Eat less.  Stop eating when you are 80% full.  Tips: serve food at the counter, don’t eat in front of the TV, and use smaller dishes.  People in Blue Zones usually eat their smallest (and last) meal in the late afternoon or early evening. 

5. Go veggie.  If you eat meat at all, try to limit it to a portion the size of a deck of cards twice per week.  Beans and nuts are the cornerstone of a Blue Zoner’s diets.

6. Limit Alcohol to Wine.  Limit it to about 1-2 glasses a day—and, no, not 14 glasses one day a week.

7. Strong faith and spiritual belief system.  Blue Zoners have a strong faith-based community in which they participate, attending religious services at least four times a month.

8. Family first.  Blue Zoners put their family first, and take care of sick or elderly in their homes.

9. Right crowd.  Make lifelong, sustaining relationships and hang out with people who will support a good lifestyle.  With whom you spend your time determines your daily habits to a great degree.

For more information, go to www.BlueZones.com. Or read The Blue Zones by Dan Beuttner.

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