7 Proven Secrets for Living Longer...and Healthier

Photo by Thirsty in LA

Written by Raymond Salas

What are the REAL proven secrets for living longer...and healthier?

Author Dan Buettner was part of a 2007 National Geographic expedition that searched the globe for the longest-lived people and the common factors contributing to their longevity.

His findings were published in the book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.”

Here’s what they found:

The Discovery of "Blue Zones"

First, they identified what they called “blue zones,” which are regions on our planet with the longest life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy or concentration of persons of persons over 100.

These regions included Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California.

7 Proven Secrets for Living Longer...and Healthier

Here are the proven secrets for living longer...and healthier they discovered:

- Move naturally

“Longevity all-stars don’t run marathons or compete in triathlons; they don’t transform themselves into weekend warriors on Saturday morning. Instead, they engage in regular, low-intensity physical activity, often as part of a daily work routine.” - Dan Buettner

In fact, it's been proven that the benefits of walking are powerful. It is the one activity that all of the centenarians studied participated in and most, did it daily.

- Don’t overeat

In Okinawa, the elders practiced hara hachi bu, which is a reminder to eat until 80 percent full. The residents of the other blue zones also ate smaller portions.

Interestingly, none of centenarians researched were ever on a diet, and none of them were ever obese.

- Avoid meat and processed foods

Most of the longest-lived people eat meat rarely, only on special occasions, if at all. Many of them
grow at least some of their own food. In general, they make healthy food choices daily, avoiding processed food and meat.

- Have a strong sense of purpose

In other words...know what drives your heart and soul. Know your purpose. Find your true calling, how you choose to add value to the world. See the bigger picture of your life.

Buettner and his team found that having a strong sense of purpose often acts as a buffer to stress and may reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and stroke.

- Eliminate or reduce stress

The longest-lived people find healthy ways to eliminate or reduce stress daily. Most practice meditation or find other ways to slow down and calm their mind every day.

- Make family a priority

For the longest-lived people, family is very important and a regular part of their life, often daily.

If the idea of being closer to your family is a challenge for you, find a way to get along with your family better. If you have unresolved issues with them, find a way to forgive them and move forward with your life.

If necessary, you can also redefine who your family really is for you and make them a priority instead.

- Find your "tribe"

Surround yourself with positive people who support you and share your values.

Buettner points out that this may be the single, most powerful thing that you can do to change your life for the better. He found that the people who live the best and longest do this naturally.

“Who you surround yourself with, you become.” - Amy Chan