Just in case you are not familiar with what the Blue Zones are, you should watch a short TedTalk done by Dan Buettner, explorer and researcher.
Blue Zones are regions of the world where Dan Buettner claims people live ten or more years longer than average. The term first appeared in his November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story, “The Secrets of a Long Life”. Buettner identified five regions as “Blue Zones” (a term he trademarked):
Not only did the people in these Blue Zones live longer and happier lives, but they were relatively free of the chronic diseases that takes the lives of most of the people of the world.
Based on firsthand observations Buettner identified 9 characteristics that were common to all of the Blue Zone communities.
In short they:
1. Move Naturally… they didn’t go to a gym for a workout, instead work in their garden
2. Purpose… they have a reason for living
3. Down Shift… beat stress thru prayer, meditation and happy hour
4. 80% Rule… stop eating before you are full
5. Plant Slant… beans, chickpeas and lentils, fruits, nuts and veggies
6. Wine at 5… except for most Adventists
7. Belong… attending services 4 times a month adds up to 14 years to your life
8. Loved Ones First… committing to a life partner and caring for the elderly
9. Right Tribe… groups of 5 committed to each other for life
Not only do they live longer and happier lives, but they die relatively free of the chronic diseases that plague North Americans today.
Today the Blue Zones people are helping cities across North America to adapt the characteristics that will transform them into a healthier lifestyle. For Example, Dallas-Fort Worth was rated at 185 when they started to become a Blue Zone Project in 2015. In three years since they climbed to 58… a huge jump. Cigarette smoking declined by 31% in that short time.
To learn more about the Blue Zones Projects click on this link.
Take a look at Dallas-Fort Worth before and after becoming a Blue Zone Project and click this link.
So far there are forty cities that have committed to become “Blue Zone Projects.” The only Canadian one is in Airdre, Alberta. Don’t you think Kelowna would be a good fit to be another Blue Zone Project?