Blue zones the ford family foundation

This is a very good book to have…especially if you want to live to be 100+ years of age. Not only is it possible to have longevity in your life, but you can also learn some ways to improve the quality of your life. The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner is a book that reminds you about well-known habits to incorporate into your daily life such as eating your vegetables and making time to be physically active every day. Buettner also points out the not-so-obvious ways to live a longer life such as doing things in your life that make your heart sing. Doing things that you find to be interesting and that challenge you, that help get you excited about moving into your day.

The Blue Zones in the world are so-called due to circling the places on the map with the densest population of centenarians with a blue pen.


The Blue Zones takes the reader to five different Blue Zones in the world where the population of centenarians is quite a bit more than in the rest of the world: Sardinia, Okinawa, Loma Linda (Yes! The USA does have one Blue Zone!), Cost Rica and Greece. Each of these Blue Zone areas have some commonalities, but they also have a few differences that are specific to their areas.

Ultimately, there is a recipe for longevity and it has to do with having what is considered a healthy lifestyle. This healthy lifestyle has just as much to do with the foods you eat, the things you drink, and the amount of exercise you do as it does with the community you build, the passions that you have in your life and the ability to unplug and relax at least one day a week.

While the book highlights elements of well-being, they are presented in a way which may not always resonate with the reader. Of the five Blue Zones discussed, only one is a “first world” community – that in Loma Linda, California. The rest of the people described are living second- or third-world lifestyles, which the reader may be glad not to be living. Some of us may find that a low-carb diet works better for us than the carb-dense, plant-based diets universal to the Blue Zones. The author comes close to suggesting that we first-world people who retire from careers are less likely to have a sense of purpose, to which I object. I have just retired, and have a new and very motivating sense of purpose in helping to form community social connections by running a Meetup site. Most of the Blue Zone people are closely surrounded by family, whereas many first-world people wind up living far from family members. I am a happy widow, glad not to have children or grandchildren. The author does mention, very briefly, that having any kind of social connections, not just family connections, is associated with well-being. But one can finish the book wondering – is the author saying that each of the ways in which I choose to differ from the described elements of well-being constitutes one more peg in an early coffin? I doubt that is his intention, but I do hope that further writings on this topic will explore people living well with first-world lifestyles.