The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner sets forth the author’s painstaking research into longevity in a number of areas of the world noted to have the highest concentration of the oldest people. Examples of communities with centenarians include Loma Linda, California, the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Okinawa, and Costa Rica.
Explorer and author, Dan Buettner has led teams of researchers throughout the world to uncover the Blue Zones’ secrets. These are geographic regions where high percentages of centenarians are enjoying remarkably long lives to ages over 100 in some cases.
Buettner found important ingredients to living longer. These ingredients include a plant-based diet, minimal meat, seeds, and–in the case of the Seventh Day Adventists–a diet which follows what the Bible teaches people to eat.
Other important characteristics of centenarians include a daily routine of exercise, food gathering, living within close proximity of family, and a definitive purpose in life. Some were avid church goers and have been so for decades. In some cases, pictures of deceased relatives are posted prominently to remind the living of their familial heritage.
The author explains that life expectancy for humans was 30 years of age for over 99% of human history. Modern medicine has increased our life expectancy to nearly 80 years. The world’s longest-living human beings tend to do regular physical activity each day. This activity includes walking, squatting to gather food, general gardening, and playing with young people, friends, and family.
In the Blue Zones, people thrive in places where walking is the preferred mode of travel. The sun shines strong each day. In addition, people tend to have important membership ties to a family, church organization, or both. A number of centenarians nap each day as part of their routine. The centenarians have lower levels of stress in their lives perhaps due to the hard work which helps them burn off whatever residual stress they may accumulate.
The Blue Zones has profound implications for future generations of people. In addition, the book cites important health tips that could lower the cost of health care throughout the world by simply eating better, finding a constructive purpose in life, and exercising as a part of the daily routine.