My husband once told me that the maximum human life expectancy is 125. He then told me I should live to 126, just to spite science. Seems like a good enough reason to me to max out all the world records.
Now, how to do it? My Science Deifying Life Span Plan consists of 7 simple steps, most of these are based off of National Geographic’s study of the Blue Zones. To be honest, I say simple steps, but in reality, I have yet to implement most of them. But with living to 126, I think I have some time.
The first thing I love about the idea of Blue Zones is how they got their name. Simply, someone circled the areas on a map that contained a high percentage of healthy centenarians in a blue pen. Thus creating Blue Zones.
National Geographic located 5 regions that fit their criteria. I was shocked to learn that one of these were located right here in the good old U.S. of A. With the current state of crisis that most of American’s health is in, Loma Linda, California was not a place I was expecting to see. The other four are Ikaria, Greece, Okinawa Japan, Ogliastra region, Sardinia and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Those are not all that surprising.
What did these 5 regions have in common? It actually varied a lot from region to region. While general themes could be found, there was nothing that was 100% conclusive from region to region. Many of these ideas are also present in most other happy healthy countries. Compare these to the average American lifestyle and let's see how we do. Overall, here’s what they found and the practical application of it.
Move Naturally. You’ve heard us say time and time again that Motion is Life. It’s more that just a platitude. It’s true. When you have to go somewhere, walk. Ride bike. Roller-skate. You burn more calories, save the environment, get an extra dose of Vitamin D and add years to your life. Getting old doesn’t mean being sedentary. Don't believe me? check these people out! Now that the weather is getting nicer and the days are getting longer, you, ok, I, don’t have any more excuses for driving everywhere.
Purpose. Here’s one thing all of the Blue Zones have in common. Everyone one of those people had a reason for being alive. If you don’t have reason to get out of bed in the morning, you won't. My purpose? Prove Science Wrong! Every day I wake up, is one day closer to achieving that goal.
De-stress. Hello, America! Let’s take a note here! As a culture that prides itself on being busy and shuns “Laziness”, this one might take some work. Once you make this a priority and it becomes a habit, taking some time out of the business becomes much easier. After 2 years of a steady yoga practice, I can feel it in my body and mind when I don’t take that mid-day breathing break. This has become a Non-negotiable in my life and gives me some movement points too!
Eat More Plants. As a vegetarian, I was thrilled to hear this! Beans are the center of most Blue Zone Diets; supplemented by small amounts of meat, mostly fish. Yes, you can get enough protein and calories without all that meat. Think of the Mediterranean Diet here. Eating massive steaks, or meat for every meal, is not going to get you to 100. While, theoretically, there are healthy ways to eat copious amounts of meat, consider balancing it out with a meatless Monday. I’d be happy to give you some of my favorite recipes!
It’s 5:00 Somewhere! That’s right! Moderate drinkers outlived complete teetotalers. One or two glasses of wine socially seem to be the ticket. I’m all on board for this one. I’ll admit, there’s some St Vrain Cider that went into the making of this post.
Community. This one was so important, National Geographic actually broke it down into 3 categories. They say that attending a faith-based service 4 times a month can add 4 – 14 years on your life. Putting your family as a priority and having a life partner can add up to 3 years on to your life. There’s a lot of us transplants out here in Longmont, so friends who have become your family also counts.
Chiropractic. While National Geographic didn’t cover this one in their magazine, they ought to have. If your nervous system isn’t healthy and functioning properly, it’s hard to live to 100. I’ve been working in chiropractic offices for almost 6 years. During that time I’ve been getting adjusted at least once a week. I’ve found that with regular adjustments my body feels and functions and it’s best and that my immune system operates at its peak.
If you’re planning on living to 126 or not quite as long, chiropractic can help you out. Give us a call at 303-766-6767 to see how we can help you achieve your health goals.