In some cultures, it is customary to wish people “a long life” when a loved one passes away. This may seem like a strange custom, but if done right, a long life can be a healthy one too.
In some parts of the world - known as “Blue Zones” - there are exceptional numbers of nonagenarians and centenarians i.e. people who live over 90 and 100, respectively.
The term “Blue Zone” was first coined by Dan Buettner in a 2005 National Geographic cover story. Buettener was studying areas of the world where longevity was commonplace. Buettner and his colleagues identified five known Blue Zones on the map:
Icaria (Greece): an island where people eat a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, red wine and homegrown vegetables
Ogliastra, Sardinia (Italy): mountainous regions where people typically work on farms and drink lots of red wine (just pointing out for the fans that there is a red-wine theme here)
Okinawa (Japan): eat a lot of soy-based foods and practice tai chi, a meditative form of exercise
Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica): eat beans and corn tortillas, and regularly perform physical jobs into old age
The Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California (USA): strict vegetarians and live in tight-knit communities.
For the ladies in the audience - Okinawa, Japan is home to the world’s longest-lived women.
In Okinawa, people traditionally sit on the floor to read, eat, talk, and relax instead of sitting in chairs. Okinawan centenarians sit and rise from the floor dozens or hundreds of times per day. This exercises their legs, back, and core in a natural way as they get up and down all day long. Sitting on the floor also improves posture and increases overall strength, flexibility, and mobility.
So what are we trying to say here?
1. Chuck out the chair. Or try moving around a bit more to live like an Okinawan
2. Drink more red wine