Monday, July 5, 2010
Dan Buettner is a National Geographic explorer, a writer and the founder of Quest Network Inc. His story for “National Geographic”, “Secrets for Living Longer”, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. When he first set out to investigate the mysteries of human longevity he teamed up with demographers and scientists at the National Institute on Aging to identify pockets around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives.
Dan Buettner’s book, “The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who Lived the Longest”, is a great read for people who are interested in the question of longevity and the realities of aging. Mr. Buettner and his team identified pockets, or Blue Zones, “where people reach the age of 100 at rates significantly higher, and on average, live longer, healthier lives than Americans do.” The group traveled with interpreters to the four chosen Blue Zones: the Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, the Seventh Day Adventists community of Loma Linda, California and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
In each of these Blue Zones the team met with and talked to wonderful centenarians, trying to find out how they lived, what they ate and why they thought they had lived so long. Each one of these pockets had a different diet and way of life, but there were overall similarities between the groups. A strong community and family support was important. Some of these people lived alone but most of them were living with their extended families. They all had a plant based diet where meat was secondary or not part of their diet. A sense of purpose in life and spirituality was a common thread and most important the centenarians were never sedentary, they were always busy doing something.
In final chapter of the book Dan Buettner shows the reader how to put the information learned in the Blue Zones to work in our busy twenty first century lives. This is a very interesting book that may change your view of aging and give you some good ideas to incorporate into your life as you do.