Do you want to live better, longer? That’s precisely the goal of Blue Zones from founder Dan Buettner.
Buettner is credited with discovering the five places in the world – dubbed blue zones hotspots, where people live the longest, healthiest lives. Buettner reported his findings of these hotspots in his cover story for National Geographic Magazine‘s November 2005 edition, “Secrets of Long Life.”
Three years later, he’d compile his research into his first book on Blue Zones in The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from People Who’ve Lived the Longest through National Geographic Books.
9 Lessons for Living Longer
Want to live up to a decade longer? Experts say you can if you adopt the right lifestyle. Buettner led teams of researchers across the globe–from Costa Rica to Sardinia, Italy, to Okinawa, Japan and beyond–to uncover the secrets of Blue Zones. He found that the recipe for longevity is deeply intertwined with community, lifestyle, and spirituality. People live longer and healthier by embracing a few simple but powerful habits, and by creating the right community around themselves.
In his updated second edition of The Blue Zones, Buettner adds Ikaria, Greece to his blue zones and a group reading guide to help you discuss the book and the lifestyle changes with friends and family. He takes you region by region to show the stories and share the interviews that reveal the secrets to living longer.
Those 9 Lessons include lifestyle habits like:
- Moving naturally
- Purpose (i.e. ikigai)
- Down shifts to shed stress
- Eating towards 80% fullness
- Plant slants to your diet
- Drink wine at 5 with friends and food
- A sense of belonging
- Putting families first
- Belong to a tribe that supports healthy behaviors
Buettner wasn’t just satisfied with sharing his discoveries with readers, however. He now works in partnership with municipal governments, large corporations, and health insurance companies to implement Blue Zones Projects. These well-being initiatives apply lessons from his discoveries to entire communities. He helps to create change to the local environment, public policy, and social networks.
In fact, Blue Zones’s work in over 50 communities across America has been credited with double-digit drops in obesity, smoking and Body Mass Index, achieving millions of dollars of savings in healthcare costs. With over 5 million Americans’ lives improved to date, Buettner’s research has real, practical applications.
Reverse Engineering Longevity
Buettner has devoted his life to his research since his first expedition in 2003. In his almost twenty years of research and first-hand experiences, he’s discovered a way we might all increase our life expectancy by 10-12 years. Yes, it certainly can take some work, but there’s a lot we can do with simple, small steps.
At 61, it’ll be interesting to see where else Third Ager Buettner takes his research!