SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2020– The unanticipated advent of COVID-19 has created a sense of fear and uncertainty relative to life itself. The question many are asking themselves, even before the pandemic, is how long will I live? What is my longevity? Blue Zones, areas around the world where people normally live long lives, may hold some answers.
Quality of life
Quality of everyday life is continuously threatened by sanctioned limitations, safe practices, and the ability to conduct most aspects of what was considered to be a normal life.
As society moves through COVID-19, and it hopefully becomes a harsh memory, it is an opportune time to discern what constitutes quality of life and positive health.
Some may recognize that through such a restrictive and upheaval process, there may have been much about life unintentionally taken for granted. A desire to return to living a desirable life has become a goal for many.
Blue Zones and longevity
Longevity is the great unknown. As they say, you can be hit by a bus walking across the street. A major question that is impossible to answer yet, it has continuously plagued most humans since the beginning of time..
Blue Zones are 5 unique locales on Earth that are inhabited by the greatest proportion of centenarians.
In a Danish Twin Study conducted by Herskind AM, McGue M, Holm NV, Sorensen TIA, Harvlad B, Caupel JW, conducted a study of approximately 2,872 Danish twins born 1870-1900, produced a concept that only roughly 20% of an individual’s lifespan is determined by genetics.
It was further believed, by the results of this study, that about 80% of an individual’s lifespan is determined by lifestyle factors.
Where are the Blue Zones?
Later through the efforts of Dan Buettner, founder of Blue Zones and his team of scientists, there began an exploration into the tenants of longevity which then garnered the Power 9–the common principles commonly found among peoples living in specific locales and who lived the longest.
In joint cooperation with National Geographic ad the National Institute on Aging, it was discerned that Loma Linda, CA, US; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; and Okinawa, Japan are the regions with the highest proportion of centenarians.
The common denominators, i.e., Power 9, provided evidence-based information about what constitutes living long into the age of 90, 100, and beyond.
As posted by We Forum:
1. Moving naturally throughout the day with routine activities such as walking, gardening, housework, and the like.
2. Having a purpose in life and a reason to thrive.
3. Downshifting by engaging in routine daily de-stressing activities, such as meditation, prayer, taking a nap, and the like.
4. The 80% Rule is knowing when to stop eating when 80% full.
5. Consuming a plant-based diet, which includes beans, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, while eliminating meat or perhaps substituting it for fish.
6. Consuming a glass or 2 of wine daily.
7. Being an active part of a community, whether through practicing a particular faith and/or other forms of community engagement, which can add 4-14 years to life expectancy.
8. Having close personal ties and family connections, while placing loved ones first above activities and lifestyle choices.
9. Discovering the right tribe, i.e., seeking the most life-enhancing people and friends upon which to build strong relationships.
Blue Zone results may impact public health policy
The CDC believes that the best investment and influence on health is through policy. Increasing awareness while developing new living environments. Increasing proximity of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods are plentiful. That by limiting fast-food restaurants, increasing smoking cessation programs and developing livable communities that encourage walking, longevity increases.
Physical activity can rise by 30% and obesity will decline. Collectively, basic health would thrive, while further increasing longevity.
Choosing to be healthy is about choosing a healthy lifestyle
Blue Zone research provides insight into what steps can contribute to optimal physical and emotional health.
There is hope, through research findings from the Blue Zones, the real possibility that all humankind may see the opportunity for making great strides in enriching overall quality of life, improving overall health and increasing longevity now and in future generations to come.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
(Main image: https://youtu.be/CzNVa4I7CbY Screenshot via YouTube CGTN America)