The Blue Zones
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Last week I read a book by Dan Buettner, called "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest". "Blue Zones" are areas of the world where people live longer and have an extraordinarily high number of centenarians. Not only do the people there get very old, they stay exceptionally healthy most of their lives and many of them were still living quite independently when Buettner visited them. His team visited and researched for this book five areas that are not near the most advanced medical centers, regions of high net wealth, or technology. Rather, all but one of these zones are located in rural areas where people eat their vegetables, walk everywhere, and are very lean. Excess weight or obesity are virtually unknown in the blue zones. They don't overeat. They have amazing social networks, work hard and preserve a sense of purpose way beyond retirement age – most of them don't even understand the concept of retiring.
It's a very fascinating read and it has induced me to look up a few of his sources and reading recommendations as well, like the book "SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life" by Steven G. Pratt M.D. and Kathy Matthews, and "Healthy at 100" by John Robbins.
Well, I am pretty sure I do not want to live to 100, but who knows. What I DO want is, to stay healthy and well. My father is a shining example – although he has had a few ailments in recent years he is remarkably fit and healthy at 80, and his general good health has helped him to bounce back in no time after a transient ischemic attack in 2012, a non-Hodgkin-Lymphoma in 2013 and a mild heart attack in 2014. In fact I just talked to him earlier this afternoon and he had just returned from a 12.5 mile bike ride. That's what he does several times per week when the weather allows for it. In the winter time he walks, but he usually gets impatient to re-start his bike rides as spring rolls around.
I am wondering how I could tweak my lifestyle some more. I feel my focus shifting, from losing weight to just generally living healthier. I know I have already done a lot in the past two years (got moving, re-started tracking my food and fitness, lost almost 40 lbs) but I want to do more. I want to feel like I'm doing what is best for my body.
So, expect more in a couple of days, for now this post is already getting a bit lengthy. Wishing you all a lovely evening!