The average life expectancy (from birth to age-specific death) in the US is currently 78.8., with women still in the lead. (1) Life expectancy is actually higher in other countries like Japan and the UK, but there are certain pockets in the world where people are living life spans into their hundreds. What's so special about them? What do they have that we don't?
A higher technology perhaps?
The real answer is actually much simpler. So simple you might even scan back through this article looking for the part you missed about cryo-sleep chambers and Tom Hanks at a magical carnival kiosk.
These places, called the Blue Zones, and discovered by Dan Buettner, are places that share uncommon longevity compared to the rest of the world. In reality, they actually have several characteristics that collectively contribute to not just a longer life, but a better quality of life. These have been classified by Buettner as The Power 9.
1 Move Naturally
Gym memberships not included in the Blue Zone Communities. You won't catch them pumping iron in their garage or even training for the next marathon. Movement is built in to their everyday lives. Walking, not driving. Playing with their children. It's pure physics as people in motion tend to STAY in motion.
2. Have a Purpose!
A personal favorite here at Pharm Table, waking up and KNOWING your purpose will not only transform your day, but over time, your life! A little tip to this is every night before you go to bed, determine your purpose for the next day so you can wake up ready to fulfill it. Note: having a purpose does not mean having a TO DO list. And even better: having purpose can add up to SEVEN YEARS to ones life!
3. Down Shift
Down time: the weekend mantra of many Americans. Well, the Blue Zoners don't live for two days out of their week, they make it a point to down shift daily. Sardinian men gather together for good conversation and laughter every day. De-stressing also reduces inflammation, the root of every major age-related disease.
4. 80% Rule
The Okinawans have a mantra, "Hara Hachi Bu", which they say before they eat their meals to remind themselves to stop eating at 80% fullness. Biologically, it takes around twenty minutes for the brain to receive the message that food is in the stomach. Learning to stop at 80% will have tangible results if applied daily. This is one component of 'mindfulness', a major component of the Pharm Table Philosophy.
5. Plant Slant
The cows on all the Chick-fil-A signs actually had (mostly) the right idea. Eat less beef. Centenarians have a legume based diet and typically only consume meat (mostly pork) five times per month. Could you imagine the impact on the American Food Industry??
Moderate drinkers can actually out live non drinkers (most effective when combined with other Power 9 components)
Pairs well with friends.
Attending faith-based services four times a month- any denomination- can add up to FOURTEEN YEARS of life expectancy. That's some serious faith!
8. Loved Ones First
In a country that has a large nursing home market, this one is pretty close to home (literally). The Blue Zones keep tight family communities, make sure that all members are cared for, and keep their elderly close and hold them in high regard. Grandparents are wonderful sources of wisdom, provide child care, and are pretty fantastic in general.
9. Right Tribe
All of the people in Blue Zone communities were born there or chose to live there. Perpetuate your good choices by associating with others who want the same things. Cultivate your communities by passing good habits to spouses and children and joining groups with the same values.
There you have it! The Power 9 are pretty compelling, simplistic, and very effective. And the best part? No technology needed. Tell us how you have already implemented some of these or which ones you could really use in your life!
1 - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283625.php