Friday, April 29, 2016

The Blue Zones

Reaching the age of 100, is a common phenomenon in certain parts of the globe.  Among these places, named by researchers 'blue zones', are the islands of Ikaria
 (Greece), Sardinia (Italy), and Okinawa (Japan); the peninsula of Nikoya (Costa Rica), and the city of Loma Linda (California).

The explorer and writer Dan Buettner is the one who has popularized the term 'blue zones' through his books, articles, and lectures on the above locations.

There's no big secret or  mystery behind this phenomenon of living to 100 and beyond.  According to geographic and demographic experts - people in the blue zones owe their longevity to some or all of the following conditions: minimum pollution, no food processing, a relaxed way of life , sufficient exposure to sun, family and community support, faith, genetics. 

In short, good genes, good habits, good environment, to which I would also add  - a bit of good luck.

It seems to me that  'a relaxed way of life'  is a tough one for us in the so-called developed world, as we're used to live in a "never a dull moment" scenario, with all sorts of slogans pushing us to "make a difference in the world". 

Personally, I must admit that as I advance in age  I feel I'm becoming more appreciative of those dull moments, of slowing down to  doing  almost nothing, of enjoying the small, simple pleasures of life. What I first have in mind is not the possibility of being a centenerian , but rather the prospect of living a life free of pain, dissabilities, and dependence that usually come with old age.



  1. The relaxesd way od life seems here to be the clue

  2. Hi Ola,

    I think so, too. Stress is a threat to a good, long life.

  3. I think that keeping on being active is the key to longevity, plus keeping the brain active by learning new things, plus trying to let go as many of the stresses of life as you can.

  4. Vera,

    Right. Staying active is essential to living a long life. However, it depends on the form and amount of activity performed, as activity itself might put one under a lot of stress.

  5. I just recently read about those 'blue zones' & it's quite an interesting topic. :)

    I think it's mostly about the good luck though. I mean you can try to be healthy & try to eat well but this hectic life kills you before you get to be even 70... but with good luck you will be born into one of those blue zones. ;) not the possibility of being a centenerian , but rather the prospect of living a life free of pain, dissabilities, and dependence that usually come with old age...
    I like this part, I really do! You are so right!

  6. PinkPanthress,

    I'm a great believer in Luck, but you know how it is; people telling you that you must help Luck by doing this or that ( eating properly, exercising, etc.. etc..).
    I'm glad ,Nokta, that you liked the concluding paragraph of my post. I think many will agree with it.

  7. Having the support of your love ones as you age and through your life, is something I find very important also, and I am glad you mentioned it. Perhaps it's because I see the difference between those with the support of family and community and those without. I remember seeing my grandma, my in-law grandma and my step grandma, all the same age, sitting side by side when my daughter was born, and they all looked very different in age, even though they were all healthy. Spousal abuse, poverty, and a huge family had surely taken its toll on one and she looked much older than the others. A loving husband, a wealthy lifestyle and adoption had a left another vibrant and much younger looking. The other was locked between, with a loving husband and smaller family they weren't wealthy and had a harder life. They were living proof that lifestyle does affect how you age. I'd be curious to see more studies on the subject.

  8. Tanya Lynne Reimer,

    Thanks Tanya for your detailed comment.
    Indeed, family support is crucial, especially in old age. A loving spouse and an adequate life style can make a lot of difference in one's life.

  9. You said it! As I get older and I suffer with the aches and pains of Sciatica and Bursitis and achy knees it makes me wish I had taken better care of my body when I was younger.

    I too love to relax and spend time just reading without my phone and the stress of my job and family. Much as I love my family their daily problems and tragedies just add to my stress.

    But there are good moments, times when I can just laugh and have fun and I look forward to those times. I don't know though that I would want to live to 100.

  10. Hi Alicia,

    Now that the weather has warmed up and we're approaching summer,it should be easier on our joints. In case you're not very far from Loma Linda, go visit the place. See what you can learn about the residents' wellness and longevity. You may find out interesting and inspiring things there.

  11. If I'd realized I would live this long, I would have taken better care of my knees :)

  12. Rick Watson,

    You've touched a sensitive point. I do have a few regrets as to the way I've treated my knees over the years.

  13. Our objective are the same. Peace

  14. Lady Di Tn,

    I believe they are, though, the ways to achieve these objectives may vary from individual to individual.

  15. I feel guilty when I have a relaxed time. Especially after 25 years teaching when every moment was accounted for. I'm happy walking in the woods, and going down to the frog pond!

  16. P.S. I don't want to live to 100. My current client is 92, with an 87-year-old brother and 95-year-old sister! You're not tripping the life fantastic at this age!

  17. Jennifer A Jilks,

    Nature has its ways to make one feel happy and relaxed. It seems the woods and the frog pound fill your life with what is needed to feel good.
    Your client and her siblings have reached a respectable age. I wish them well.

  18. Speaking of (OLD-AGE) you have to be brave. I can only garden 3 hours, then
    600mg of Ibuprofen, hot shower, rub bengay on legs etc.
    and nap with Mr. Bennie
    Living in Maine is very Island like. The people here are in SLOW MODE!
    Especially by the hour in yard work. TEE hee. I have stopped buying frozen food I do freeze it after I cook it. I am planting a garden.
    Be well, and safe in this crazy world.

  19. La Petite Gallery,

    A hot shower is the best. As long as you cook, plant a garden, do yard work - it means you're well. May you do these things for many, many years to come!

  20. That's very true. I wouldn't want to live in the 100's if I suffered pain and illnesses. But it's hard to get through life without them, especially when we don't take care of our bodies or eat the right things. I wasn't even aware there was a blue zone in California and not too far away either.

  21. Hi Alicia,

    The californian city of Loma Linda is a community of mainly Adventists. These people live longer and better than those in other places. Their faith teaches them to treat their bodies as temples: no addictions, very little meat, a sense of purpose.

  22. You have a very good outlook on life. I've heard of Loma Linda because I live in California. 100 year old towns are wonderful, aren't they? They are rich in history and can tell many stories. :)


  23. Red Rose Alley,

    I suppose you've not only heard of Loma Linda, but also visited the town. It must have been quite an experience - a place of faith, health, and longevity.