I recently read the book The Blue Zones: 9 lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.
Author Dan Buettner surveyed “centenarians,” or people who lived to be 100, and he was able to find their secret to longevity. He found 9 common factors all which center around diet, exercise, emotions and overall lifestyle.
I want to emphasize 3 factors that stood out for me:
- Eat less. Compare 1950s food portions to today’s portions. Now compare 1950 body sizes to today’s. Enough said.
- Stay social. If your Facebook friends support healthy behavior, then Facebook is a great way to stay social. If your friends are negative Nellys…well, remember, you are the average of your 5 closest friends when it comes to style, finances and health. Are your friends bringing you down? Or are you improving the average of your friends?
- Have a purpose in life. Do you have a reason for waking up in the morning? If not, time to find your reason. Don’t settle for average. It actually lowers your life span.
Most of us know about the benefits of improving your diet and exercise routine (although many of us don’t follow through!). However, I was most surprised about the social aspect and having a purpose in life that was discussed in the book.
So I take those topics to heart. To actually calculate your life expectancy, check out the Blue Zones app, which acts as a “Vitality Compass” or life gauge. It is not an exact science but does comparisons to the “average Joe” in regards to our happiness factor and how it influences our health.
Remember, it’s not just doing a few of the factors found in the Blue Zone that can extend our life. It’s a comprehensive combination of many factors and doing them daily.