Want To Live to 100? Longevity Lessons From The “Blue Zones”

The “Blue Zones,” a term coined by National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, are home to some of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world.

Research on the Blue Zones shows that environment and lifestyle may impact healthy aging more than the genetic hand you were dealt; the Danish Twin Study established that only about 20% of how long the average person lives is determined by genes.

Beyond just diet and exercise, Buettner and his team uncovered nine lessons, dubbed the “Power 9.” Four distinct parts sum up the overarching message: move, have the right outlook, eat wisely, and connect.

An environment where you are forced to move often, whether walking to the store, tending to your garden, or traveling by sidewalk to a friend’s house, is a key part of the Blue Zones. 

Move Naturally

In Okinawa, Japan, they call it “ikgai.” Nicoyans in Costa Rica call it “plan de vida,” which translates as “why I wake up in the morning.”

Know Your Purpose

Whatever you call it, the message is simple – understanding your purpose, not only in your life but also in your greater community, is associated with longevity.

Stress plays a critical role in stress-induced diseases; the accumulation of day-to-day stress can cause excessive inflammation, which is associated with aging diseases such as atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. 


We all experience stress; the key is having a routine to help you manage life’s inevitable stresses.

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