Boost Your Well-being With the Blue Zones Power 9

You can increase your health and happiness by implementing Blue Zones Power 9 practices into your daily life. Soon you’ll be on your way to a longer, healthier life.

  1. Move naturally. The world’s longest-living people live in environments that constantly nudge them to move naturally without thinking about it. In the regions of the world where these people live, activity is second nature and part of their culture.
  2. Purpose. Having a clear sense of purpose can help people live up to seven years longer than they otherwise might. You can begin tapping into your own purpose by creating an internal inventory of your life. Articulate your values, passions, gifts and talents, then think about how you can apply your strengths and purpose to your daily life.
  3. Downshift. Everyone experiences some level of stress. Unmanaged, that stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is tied to every major age-related disease. The world’s longest-lived people have routines to downshift, such as Adventist do when they enjoy Sabbath rest and rejuvenation.
  4. 80% Rule. This traditional Japanese strategy can help you avoid eating too much. The idea is to stop eating when your stomach is 80% full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing and gaining weight.
  5. Plant Slant. Aim to fill 95% of your plate with plants or plant products. Eat a rich array of legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables. A handful of nuts a day can give you an extra 2 to 3 years of life expectancy.
  6. Friends at 5. Spark more happiness by sharing your day with others. The benefits of daily connection with friends and family come from ending work at a reasonable hour and enjoying time each day to destress and socialize.
  7. Belong. Faith and fellowship can serve as a power source for longevity. Adventists enjoy Sabbath as a weekly break from the rigors of daily life and a time to focus on family, faith, camaraderie and nature. This practice can relieve stress and strengthen social networks.
  8. Loved Ones First. The practice of putting loved ones first and keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home can lower disease and mortality rates of everyone in the family. Committing to a spouse can add up to three years of life expectancy. People who live in healthy families with strong ties experience lower rates of depression, suicide and stress. Those who live at a distance from relatives receive positive health benefits from having strong ties to their “chosen” family.
  9. Right Tribe. Invest in a lifelong circle of friends. These social networks can provide safety nets that lend financial and emotional support in times of need and the stress-shedding security of knowing there is always someone there for you. Proactively connecting to social networks that support healthy behaviors will do more to add years to your life than just about anything else.

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Featured in: September/October 2021