National Geographic writer and explorer Dan Buettner delivers a powerful and compelling presentation at TEDx which reveals the “longevity” lifestyle of the most long-lived societies with the highest number of healthy centegenarians.
Not only do these “elderly” people live beyond 100 years, they do it with “extreme vigor.” They ride bikes to work, chop wood, arm wrestle with great strenth, and live without painful conditions endemic to modern industrial populations.
They continue to work and be productive until the day they finally pass. Dan mentions that when they do pass, it is usually very quick, and often after having sex that night.
What do these groups of people around the world do that is different than people in “first-world countries?”
They mostly eat a plant based diet, including legumes, vegetables and greens. Some people eat fermented, natural tofu and wholesome cheese from naturally raised, grassfed animals. They eat fewer calories, getting up from the table when they feel 80% full rather than completely full.
The “elderly” are revered and respected. They have purpose, and wake up knowing “the reason one wishes to wake up in the morning.” These reasons center on taking care of their loved ones, giving partaking, pursuing their interests, maintaining their loving relationships, being productive, contributing and sharing with their community, friends, family.
One woman spoke of the extraordinary feelings when she held her great, great, great granddaughter – “It is like leaping into heaven.”
Lifelong friendships and family are paramount. The older people are never alone or isolated, but have great connection with each other. Social networks are natural and immutable.
They take Nature walks, keeping very active. They believe in their own great personal value, and they believe and trust in each other. They have high esteem, yet remain humble. They live simple, regular lives.
The Take Aways – Blue Zone Common Denominators of These Long and Happy Lived People
» None of them exercise. Instead, they are constantly nudged into activity by their choice of lifestyle. They sit on the floor, constantly getting up. They live in homes with ladders and stairs. They walk, they all tend their gardens.
» They know when the rest, and downshift. This helps them avoid an inflammatory response that comes with excess stress or activity.
» They have great sense of purpose.
» They do drink a little bit everyday, they eat beans and nuts, they take care of each other.
» They belong to a faith based organization.
» They surrounded themselves with the “right” people. If one hangs out with unhealthy people, one is more likely to follow suit. On the other hand, one can also be a positive influence to those with less healthy lifestyles. The trick is to be unswervable in one’s own healthy life choices.
» They never diet. “Exercise programs don’t work – there is no short termed fix in a pill or anything else.”
» Their friends are part of their long term adventures, are their most significant contributors to adding more good, valuable years to their lives.