9 Things You Can Do to Live a Long, Happy LifeBy Samantha Boardman, M.D.
If you care about aging well, Dan Buettner is your man. For more than a decade, Buettner has been traveling the world in search of the world’s longevity hot spots—places where people live and thrive into their 100s. He identified five areas where people live long and well: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy: Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California. Buettner calls them Blue Zones.
What enables these people to live so long and so well? Buettner worked with a team of experts including medical researchers, anthropologists, and epidemiologists to identify the factors that contribute to their longevity. It wasn’t just that these long-lived populations won the genetic lottery, lifestyle factors matter a great deal too.
Buettner and his team came up with nine practices embraced in all five Blue Zones
The world’s longest living people don’t hit the gym or go to Soul Cycle for an hour each day. Instead, they move throughout the day and walk everywhere.
The Okinawans call it ikigai and the Costa Ricans call it plan de vida, meaning “why I wake up in the morning.” Having a sense of meaning and purpose beyond one’s daily work are evident in all Blue Zones.
Like all of us, those living in Blue Zones have stress but they also have built in routines to reduce stress. Okinawans paus