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Cities with the most centenarians in the world: Why do people live longer in Blue Zones?

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Let’s be honest, who hasn’t dreamed of living healthily for over 100 years? Well, for some people around the world, it’s more than a dream: it’s a reality. Blue Zones are specific regions where the population has a significantly higher concentration of centenarians. But what’s so special about these areas? Join us on this curious journey to uncover the secrets behind the countries with the most centenarians in the world.

What are Blue Zones?

Blue Zones are regions of the world that have caught the attention of researchers because they concentrate a surprisingly high number of people over 100 years of age, considerably exceeding the global longevity average and even that of very close cities within the same country. These places have gained notoriety thanks to the work of journalist Dan Buettner, recently known for his Netflix documentary, “Living to 100: The Secrets of the Blue Zones”. Find out more about the five main Blue Zones:

blue zones sardinia

  1. Okinawa, Japan
  2. Sardinia, Italy
  3. Loma Linda, California, USA
  4. Nicoya, Costa Rica
  5. Ikaria, Greece

Blue Zone factors that contribute to longevity

Dan Buettner, impressed by the number of centenarians in the Blue Zones, spent years thoroughly researching the routine of the inhabitants of these cities in order to discover common elements that would justify this “coincidence”. As a result of this long study, he identified the key factors that contribute to longevity.

  1. Balanced diet: In the Blue Zones, diet plays a huge role. Food is essentially high-octane fuel. In Okinawa, for example, the diet is rich in vegetables, tofu and fish, while in Sardinia, the food base includes whole grains, legumes and a daily dose of red wine. All regions stay away from ultra-processed foods and prioritize preparing their own food.
  2. Regular physical activity: Spending the day on the sofa is definitely not on the agenda in the Blue Zones. In these cities, people incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, without the need to work out at the gym. Imagine walking up and down hills or working in the garden-all of which contribute to an active lifestyle.
  3. Social connections: Never underestimate the power of good relationships. Strong family ties, deep friendships, volunteer work and spiritual communities are a common denominator in all Blue Zones. For example, Okinawa’s “moai” are social groups that support each other throughout life, fostering a sense of belonging and emotional support.
  4. Life purpose: In Nicoya, they call this “life plan” and in Okinawa, “ikigai”. Having a clear life purpose does wonders for the mind and body. Whether it’s involvement in the community, meaningful work or passionate hobbies, having a reason to get out of bed every morning is crucial.
  5. Less stress Want a tip? Relax! In the Blue Zones, stress management is an art. From religious practice in Loma Linda to the daily “siesta” in Icaria, these little breaks help keep cortisol (the stress hormone) at low levels.

Curiosities and Real Data

 

blue zones japan

According to studies, people in Blue Zones have a lower incidence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. A remarkable study by the University of Athens on the inhabitants of Ikaria found that they are more than twice as likely to reach the age of 90 compared to other areas of Europe!

Furthermore, a report by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that up to 80% of longevity is due to lifestyle rather than genetics. So the good practices observed in the Blue Zones are, in fact, backed up by science.

Applying the Secrets of the Blue Zones

So, are you inspired? Although not everyone can simply go and live in one of these areas, adopting some of their practices can be a good start. How about replacing fast food with home-cooked meals rich in vegetables and whole grains? Or try being more active during the day, perhaps even joining a walking group?

After all, the secret to a long and healthy life may be much closer than we think, in the small choices we make every day. Adopting these habits may not guarantee that you’ll blow out 100 candles, but it will certainly improve the quality of your life.

So, let’s live longer and better! Share this text with a friend who deserves to live a long and healthy life!

See also: 50 experiences everyone should have in life.

Redação UBE
Redação UBEhttps://umaboaexperiencia.com
Somos uma equipe apaixonada por boas experiências ao redor do mundo. Acreditamos que uma boa experiência não se define por preço ou exclusividade, mas sim como você se sente vivendo esse momento.

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