Back in the early 1500s, explorer Ponce de Leon traveled to present day Florida in search for the Fountain of Youth. The idea was that if you drank its waters, you would stay eternally young. Although this might sound silly, it really isn’t so far off from modern day civilization: people are still looking for that ‘magic potion’ that will keep them young and beautiful. Sort of funny when you think about it. No matter how much time passes, we still are in search for the same thing.
Personally, I believe that the true ‘Fountain of Youth’ is found in a healthy lifestyle. No pills. No potions. No magic creams and definitely, no magic fountains. Whether or not you want to believe in Ponce de Leon’s quest, there are indeed places on earth where people live longer and healthier.
In Dan Buettner’s Best Seller, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, he give us a peek into these modern day cultures of longevity, which include: Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Each of these cultures share nine specific traits that seem to be a true formula to a long, happy, healthy life:
- Move Naturally: We often think about exercise and fitness as an add-in to our day, but these cultures are naturally active. Whether it be walking everywhere or even harvesting crops, they stay active as a result of their lifestyle.
- Eat Until Full: These cultures don’t live to eat, but rather, eat to live. Food is for sustenance, not indulgence. They eat until they are about 80% full, and then stop.
- Eat from the Earth: These cultures have a very large intake of fruits, vegetables and other foods, like legumes and nuts, which grow from plants. They don’t eat a lot of meat, especially not red. And they don’t eat processed foods. Everything is made at home.
- Red Wine: These cultures drink red wine in moderation. This means two servings or less a day.
- Life of Purpose: Individuals in these cultures have a sense of purpose. They also can see the big picture of life, and don’t get bogged down in the details.
- Stress Management: Relaxation is part of every day life. They take time to laugh, spend time with loved ones and enjoy all that life has to offer.
- Spirituality: These individuals meditate or spend time self-reflecting. This does not necessarily mean they are part of an organized religion or faith, but rather, have a sense of spirituality and tradition.
- Family and Loved Ones are a Priority: These cultures have a strong root and belief in the family unit and in deep friendships and meaningful relationships. Family time is important and they make time for each other.
- Surround Yourself with Like-Minded Individuals: These cultures put an emphasis on incorporating these values into their life. As a result, they seek out other individuals who share those values and who they trust to be like-minded.
These nine traits really are a lifestyle worth living. How many of these traits have you incorporated into your life?
- There are No Quick Fixes
- Do You Exercise to Look Good or Feel Good?
- Exercise in a Pill
- Diet or Lifestyle: Why to Choose the Latter
- Get the Book Now! The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest