The Blue Zone Project started with a research study to conclude where the highest concentrations of centenarians living full and healthy lives reside across the globe. They dove into these cultures to find the 9 commonalities amongst these places varying from the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica to Sardinia, Italy. They call these the power 9 and they are simple and easy keys to living a longer and healthier life. The Blue Zones Project has taken this information learned from these cultures and found ways to implement change into our communities so we might make the best out of the place we live and the time we have here.
The Power 9
- Move Naturally– The people they have found to live the longest are not running marathons and exercising rigorously. They live in environments that encourage more natural movement and less unnecessary machines doing the work for them. This one is simple, in a sedentary world find a way to move!
- Purpose- You can look at this one as ‘Why I wake up in the morning.’ In these cultures there is no such thing as ‘retirement,’ they live so long because they get out of bed each day with a reason to do so. It can be something as simple as walking the kids to school or going out each day to catch dinner for the family, either way they find purpose to their days rather than watching them fly by.
- Down Shift- We experience more stress than ever before in our fast paced world and we often forget to take a moment and stop to appreciate all we have already. Some cultures pray, some nap, and others drink, the main idea is to take the time to do something for you and reflect.
- 80% Rule– This rule is one that our society needs a PSA on, ‘YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EAT EVERYTHING ON YOUR PLATE.’ It takes 30 minutes for your stomach to send the signal to your brain that you are full, so only eat to 80% and you’ll save yourself the stomach pain and the leftovers for later.
- Plant Slant- The majority of centenarians get their protein from plants, now this isn’t to say they do not eat meat. They do, however, only consume meat products about 5 times a month on average and their serving sizes are about half that of ours. There has been further research done on this because of their low instances of heart disease and cancer rates (THE CHINA STUDY).
- Wine @ 5– With the exception of the seventh day Adventists in Loma Linda, California all of these cultures drink moderately and regularly. They say 1-2 drinks with friends and family a day keeps the doctor away. See Power #8 these people are also the ones unknowingly helping you live longer!
- Belong- Regardless of the denomination, 258/263 of the centenarians they interviewed in their research belonged to some kind of faith organization. The hope for something more and feeling connected to and apart of this world is an essential part of living a full life. Join a group or organization that has similar interests as you to make you feel connected.
- Loved Ones First– The research showed that these cultures had their loved ones nearby throughout their lives, grandparents in the home with their grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren have purpose and the young ones have the benefit of great caregivers. They also found that having a life partner can add up to 3 years on to your life.
- Right Tribe- In Okinawa they call them “moais.” This is considered your tribe. These people you get together with and spend time with that have similar interests as you. Each month gather together with your Moai and choose an activity to do. Whether it’s going for a walk or the gym together, the idea is to spend time focusing on each other getting healthy together, being accountable to one another, and growing together.
How is Purely You Spa getting involved?
Purely You Spa is trying to help the Blue Zones Project here in Southwest Florida by getting the word out. The project is works with individuals, organizations, and businesses in the area to make our community safer, healthier, and happier. All of our employees here at Purely You have done their part to sign the personal pledge and we will be hosting Ladies Night events coming up in the near future as well as a “Blue Zone Special” to keep spreading the word, make sure you keep an eye out for it!
How can I get involved?
There are so many great ways to get involved with this project! They have ambassador trainings for anyone that would like more information to bring back to their place of work or any other organization that might be able to support the project. There are purpose workshops that use a deck of cards to pinpoint your best purpose in the community if you are looking for the right way to give back. The simplest way is by simply visiting their website and signing the personal pledge!
Visit their website to find out more… https://southwestflorida.bluezonesproject.com/ !
By: Kaytee G.