Today we continue our series of posts on the possibility of living to 100 years of age.
Areas on the planet where people regularly live to over 100 years of age today are often referred to as “blue zones”.

Dan Buettner (Twitter @bluezones) has been a National Geographic researcher and explorer for over 20 years. He has written an article for National Geographic magazine called “Secrets of Living Longer” and also two books – The Blue Zone Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People and Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World’s Happiest People.
Dan estimates that 20% of the length of a person’s life is genetic while 80% is lifestyle related, and even more so, directly related to the environment.
After extensive research of five blue zone hot spots:
  • Sardinia, Italy where it is not unusual for men at 106 years of age to still be chopping wood for the family.
  • Okinawa, Japan where there are 30 female centenarians.
  • Loma Linda, California where there is the highest concentration of Seventh Day Adventists in the world, a religious group who keep a strict Sabbath and diet routine.
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica where the healthiest people are often the poorest who can’t afford junk food.
  • Ikaria, Greece where people live on the healthiest and purest form of the Mediterranean diet.

Dan summarized the following secrets to living longer:

1. Move naturally. Most of these people don’t think of exercise in terms of going to a gym (although there is nothing wrong with that), but rather as a natural part of their life. They have gardens and their houses require active work. They are moving regularly. They walk all the time.
2. Eat Wisely. Anywhere from 90-100% of these people have a plant-based diet with ample amounts of fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts. They eat meat infrequently (less than 5x a month) and fish only a few times a week. They drink lots of water, tea, and black coffee, as well as a glass or two of wine each day.
3. Connect daily. Loved ones and family are first in these people’s lives. They spend ample time together over meals, in conversation (not on devices or looking at screens!) and in play. Many of them are an active part of a faith community.
4. Have the Right Outlook. These people live in lower stress areas. Yes, they worry about their kids and their health and their finances. But they have positive daily rituals – prayer, meditation, naps, happy hours., etc. They also have a vocabulary of purpose. They have meaning and direction for their lives and this reduces stress.
Of course, it is about doing this for a lifetime, not just a few weeks or months.  However, it’s never too late to start to add years to your life and extend your life expectancy. Dan estimates that the average American could live about 12 years longer … IF they made these changes!
So what about you? What is your takeaway? What changes could you make today to enhance the quality and length of your life? Life is a gift. It’s your choice what you do with it.
Is it time to buy a dog or a pet and walk them every day? Is it time to plant a garden? These kinds of things get us moving naturally. 
Is it time to learn some new healthy recipes that are both nutritious and delicious? The food you eat every day has a direct effect on your health, energy, and longevity.
Is it time to make some new friends? After all bad behaviors are contagious. 
Next, in part 3, we will look at how NOT to die!
[Photo Source: KDA Consulting]

7 thoughts on “Could You Live to 100 years of Age? (Part 2)

  1. Always an interesting read your posts.
    These communities are well documented for a lifestyle that adds years to ones lifespan, or is it the other way around – does not take from ones lifespan? Are the long years they are living what all humans could possibly live to but our lifestyle choices hacks away at our years.
    I would only want to live to over 100 if the rest of my family and close friends tried hard to live that long too. Not sure if I would want to be chopping wood as a centenarian for myself 🙂

  2. Mark,
    Dr Desmond Ford, a friend of your dad, Kevin’s, is 90 years of age and lives near you on the Sunshine Coast. One of his many books , ‘Worth More Than A Million’, is a best seller on a healthy lifestyle of exercise, good food, fresh air, pure water and trust in God.
    On Saturday August 11 he’ll be giving a talk at the home of Dr & Mrs Ross Sinclair, 11 Echo St Pelican Waters which if you wanted to attend you’d be most welcome. His topic is ‘It’s Hard to be Perfect’ – a luncheon is organised prior at 12.30 with the talk commencing at 2.15pm
    I’ll be on the Sunshine Coast for a few days, August 11 – 14 and it’ll be good to catch up
    Cheers and hope to see you
    Cal Sewart

  3. Good questions, Priscilla.
    I agree – I would only want to live long if I was healthy and my family did too. Nicole and I argue about who is going to die first. None of us want to be left behind!

  4. Thanks for letting me know, Cal. I have heard good things about Desmond.
    Actually, my dad is 91 years old now and very frail. He is in an aged care home so after living in the Sunshine Coast, QLD for the last 18 months, we decided in May of this year to rent out our home there and come back to Melbourne. We are now renting down the Mornington Penisula and its nice to be close to the family, and especially my dad at this time.
    Still adjusting to the cold though!
    So we will miss his talk. Trust it goes well.
    Thanks again.

  5. Interesting blog Mark… Totally agree with what you say.
    We need to get back to the natural garden for our food, the way God created it.
    One dear sweet lady, Marion, from our church, just turned 102 in June and only looks 70!
    She played golf up until a few years ago, and scored an amazing hole in one at age 94!
    She is a non-smoker, non-alcohol drinker and friendly regular church attender.

  6. Yes, Marion is really amazing.
    She’s still living in her double story home and gets around quite well.

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