Who would have thought we'd write a post that encourages you to watch Netflix? After all, we would advocate for reducing screen time and not getting glued to the TV, computer or endlessly scrolling on that little device. But you know what they say, every now and then, it's justified when it contributes to healthier living.
Recently, while browsing Netflix, I stumbled upon an eye-opening docuseries that I believe is a must-watch for anyone over the age of 40, especially if you're considering your personal fitness and longevity. "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones" has left me both inspired and motivated. I want to share with you why it's essential viewing.
In this remarkable series, the exploration takes us far beyond our own backyard to discover the secrets of longevity in five incredible places around the world. Genes, as it turns out, aren't the primary factor in living a long and healthy life; it's all about the lifestyle and environment.
Let's take a quick look at these extraordinary destinations:
Barbagia region of Sardinia: Tucked away in the mountainous highlands of inner Sardinia, this region boasts the world's highest concentration of male centenarians.
Ikaria, Greece: This picturesque Aegean Island has some of the lowest rates of middle-age mortality and dementia worldwide.
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: Known for its astonishingly low middle-age mortality rates and the second-highest concentration of male centenarians globally.
Seventh Day Adventists: Especially around Loma Linda, California, where they outlive their North American counterparts by a whole decade.
Okinawa, Japan: Home to the longest-lived population of females over 70 in the world.
To unravel the secrets of these incredible places, an expert team of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers, and epidemiologists delved into the lifestyles of the residents. What they discovered are the "Blue Zones Power 9," nine lifestyle habits that are instrumental in promoting health and longevity:
1. Move Naturally: These long-lived individuals don't spend hours at the gym. Instead, they live in environments that naturally encourage movement, like tending to gardens and engaging in manual household chores.
2. Purpose: Discovering your sense of purpose can add up to seven extra years to your life.
3. Downshift: Despite dealing with stress, Blue Zones residents have routines to manage it, such as ancestor remembrance, prayer, napping, or enjoying happy hours.
4. 80% Rule: They follow the "Hara hachi bu" principle, which means stopping eating when they're 80% full, helping maintain a healthy weight.
5. Plant Slant: Centenarians primarily consume beans and limit meat intake to about five times a month.
6. Wine @ 5: Moderate alcohol consumption, ideally one to two glasses per day, accompanies meals and social gatherings.
7. Belong: Most of these long-lived individuals belong to faith-based communities, regardless of the denomination, which adds years to their lives.
8. Loved Ones First: Prioritising family and investing in relationships has a profound impact on longevity.
9. Right Tribe: Surrounding themselves with friends who support healthy behaviours has positively influenced the health of long-lived individuals.
While genetics do play a role in reaching the age of 100, adopting a Blue Zones lifestyle can significantly increase life expectancy for the average person. So, if you're considering your personal fitness journey and aiming to enhance your overall health and longevity, I highly recommend tuning into this insightful docuseries. It's a treasure trove of inspiration and practical tips for living a longer, healthier life, no matter where you're starting from. And if you want to take your fitness beyond the daily the activities or need that boost of motivation, Sign up for your free personalised training session and see if we are a good fit for you .
Want to have more content like this delivered directly to your inbox? Subscibe below 👇