Have you ever wondered what’s different about people who live to be 100 years old or more? What do these people have in common, if anything? How can you increase your chances of being one of them? Dan Buettner is a National Geographic journalist and author of The Blue Zones book series and founder of Blue Zones.com. In his explorations around the globe, Dan discovered what he calls ‘blue zones’, places where the highest percentage of the population live longer, healthier lives. In The Blue Zones (second edition) 9 Lessons for Living Longer, Dan shares nine secrets to successful aging:

1. Move Naturally: Be active without having to think about it. Make a date to go for a walk, plant a garden, enroll in yoga.

2. Practice Hara Hachi Bu. Quit eating when 80% full, use small dishes, buy smaller packages, eat slowly, eat early, drink lots of water.

3. Plant slant: Avoid meat and processed foods. Eat 4-6 vegetable servings per day, limit meat, eat nuts daily, but don’t overeat them.

4. Grapes of Life: Drink Red Wine. Buy a case of high-quality dark red wine, but take it easy, no more than 2 servings per day. Enjoy happy hour with wine, nuts and friends.

5. Purpose Now: Take time to see the big picture. Craft a personal mission statement, find a partner, learn something new (like an instrument or another language).

6. Take Time to Relieve Stress. Reduce noise (such as TV, radio), arrive early, make time to meditate.

7. Participate in a Spiritual Community. Be more involved in a spiritual organization.

8. Make Family A Priority. Get closer to your family, establish good rituals, put family first.

9. Right Tribe: Surround yourself with other like-minded people. Hang out with others who have good longevity habits, be likable, create time to be with others.

No one has yet found the secret to immortality, but by following the advice and habits of people around the world who lead the longest, healthiest lives, you could be satisfied with your journey to get as close as is humanly possible.

For information about spending your many healthy older years at Fair Haven independent living or assisted living, contact our admissions team at 205-956-4150, or send an email to Traci Kennedy at tkennedy@fairhavenbirmingham.org.


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