Longevity seems to flourish in several regions around the world:
View Blue Zones around the world in a larger map
People from the so-called "Blue Zones," commonly live active lives past the age of 100, according to Dan Buettner, a National Geographic writer. Family history plays just a small role – genes dictate just 10 percent of our longevity, while the rest depends on our lifestyle.
Life Expectancy at Birth by Region:
In his TED talk, Buettner shares centenarians' tips:
Americans burn fewer than 100 calories a day engaged in “exercise”. We can get more physical activity naturally if we live in walkable communities, de-convenience our homes by getting rid of power tools and grow gardens. Walking is the best activity for longevity.
Know your Purpose
People who know why they wake up in the morning live up to seven years longer than those who don’t. Know your values, passions and talents–and how to share them on a regular basis.
Chronic inflammation caused by stress is related to every major, age-related disease. To reverse inflammation, find time each day to meditate, nap, pray or enjoy a happy hour.
Cut 20% of your calories with evidence based practices: eat a big breakfast, eat with your family, remove the TV from your dining area and say pre-meal expressions of appreciation.
Eat mostly a plant-based diet heavy on beans, nuts and green plants. Eat meat in small portions (the size of a deck of cards) fewer than twice weekly.
Living in a thriving family is worth a half a dozen extra years of life expectancy. Invest time in your kids, nurture a monogamous relationship and keep your aging parents nearby.
Recommit, reconnect or explore a new faith-based community. It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist. People who show up to their faith community four times a week live an extra 4-14 years.
Your friends have a long-term and measure impact on your health and longevity. Taking stock in who your friends are and expanding your social circle to include healthy-minded, supportive people might be the most powerful thing you can do to add years to your life.