What We Can Learn From The Blue Zones of the World

Longevity is about living a long, healthy, happy life without disease or pain.

One of the main topics the doctors and speakers discussed was The Blue Zones, which I have always been fascinated with and plan to visit all 5.

What are the Blue Zones? In case you haven’t heard of them, the Blue Zones are five places on earth with the most people who live over 100 years old and are happy and healthy.

Those five places are Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

What do they all have in common? They have a diet full of vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats. They also spend much time outdoors walking, gardening, playing, etc. Another thing is community. Spending time with friends and family also seems to be essential to their health.

Sardinia, Italy, is home to some of the oldest men in the world, and Okinawa, Japan, is home to some of the oldest women in the world.

Only one place in the United States made the list: Loma Linda, California. There are about 10,000 Seventh-Day Adventists who call Loma Linda home. Seventh-Day Adventists (not all) are vegetarians and stress keeping the Sabbath from sunset Friday evening to sunset Saturday evening. On the Sabbath, there is no watching TV, no shopping, and no working, including work around the house; all Sabbath meals were made on Friday, and my mom would pop them in the oven on Saturday. No paying bills, no homework, just relaxing and spending time with friends and family.

Yes, I grew up Seventh-Day Adventist and remember this all too well. I remember spending Sabbaths outside playing with my friends and family and hiking; I bet this is where I got the love of the outdoors and my vegetarian diet. I feel bad for kids who don’t go outside to play nowadays and just watch TV or social media. They are missing out on a lot, and I believe this will affect their health in the long run.

What can you add to your life to be more like those of the world's Blue Zones?

I stopped eating meat when I was 12 years old (I eat salmon or tuna maybe 2-3 times per month), and I am now 57. I hike every chance I get, and I love the outdoors. I spend as much time as I can with friends and family. I am on no Western medications and live a life of gratitude.

The world’s Blue Zones are incredibly remarkable places. We can all learn a thing or two from them. Instead of making a New Year resolution that takes something away, make one that adds something to your life.