by Emily Peabody

What are blue zones?

  • Areas of the world where people live the longest and have the best quality of life into their later years.

Where are the blue zones? 

  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Lima, California
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica

What are the habits of blue zones?

After studying these 5 areas for a very long time, researchers have come up with 9 things that all blue zones have in common. These are called the Power 9. These 9 things prove that the longevity of the human body is not only about the food you put into it, but incorporates so much more. 

  1. Move Naturally
    1. Having healthy bodies isn’t attributed to “pumping iron”, as they say, in these areas. They set their days up so that they are constantly moving their bodies and using their muscles. In homes, there are little to no chairs or couches. They sit on cushions on the floor and are constantly getting up and down off the floor. Even the 100 year olds. And they can do it because they never stopped doing it and let those muscles atrophy. 
  2. Having purpose. 
    1. “Why do you wake up in the morning?”
  3. Down Shift. 
    1. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is related to every major age-related disease there is. 
    2. They have routines to diminish stress. 
      1. Naps, happy hour, family time, prayer time, etc.
  4. 80% rule 
    1. Eat till you are 80% full. That 20% could be the difference between you losing weight or gaining weight. 
  5. Eat more plant-based and less meat. 
    1. Beans are a cornerstone of their diet.
    2. Meat is only eaten about 3-4 times per week, and the serving is only about 4 oz. 
  6. Drink alcohol only in moderation. 
  7. Belong to Something
    1. Whether it is a faith based community or another way to have a group of other people that you belong with helps promote good mental health. Best results are seen when you experience this sense of belonging to this group 4x per month. 
  8. Loved Ones Come First
    1. In most cases, elderly parents stay with their children or very close to their children in these blue zones. This not only promotes good health and belonging in the elderly, but there are lower disease and mortality rates in their children, as well. 
  9. Know Your Tribe
    1. Whether you were born into it, or chose these people, you should have a group of people who are there for you and support you.