Longevity: 3 habits of people who live longer, healthier, and happier lives

Imagine a place where people live long, happy and healthy lives. It seems impossible, doesn't it? And yet these fairy-tale places exist. Read on to find out what habits help their residents stay happy and healthy throughout their lives. 

 In 2005, demographer Michel Poulain and National Geographic Fellow, Dan Buettner, discovered that in some parts of the world people were living not just long, but happy and healthy lives. They called them Blue Zones. People there lived to be over a hundred and remained active, happy, and self-sufficient.  They seemed to have something as precious as the Holy Grail: the secrets for living longer.  So what lessons can we learn from them?

Live to be 100? It's possible with Blue Zones-inspired habits

1. 1. A Simple Recipe: Healthy Food

Healthy Food

There are five pillars to an average Blue Zone diet: whole grains, vegetables, starchy tubers, nuts, and beans. Beans being the most important one. One cup of beans a day could add two or three years to your life. Just like an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Beef and dairy are not a significant part of the diet although you'll find they occasionally consume sheep and goat's milk. In addition, no more than three eggs are consumed per week.

As for beverages, the Blue Zones people are really into their water and tea. They mostly drink herbal and green teas. And no more than two glasses of wine a day. No fizzy sugary drinks in sight!

But diet is only part of the picture

2. 2. The importance of social ties

The importance of social ties

Humans are extremely social creatures, and from an early age, we learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Children who cannot lift a bucket of water on their own will understand that they can succeed in working in a group, whereas a young chimp may not realize this. Blue Zones residents spend time with friends and family daily. They regularly visit neighbors and have a strong spirit of collaboration.

3. 3. Constant movement

Keep on walking

Some Blue Zones are located in very narrow and rugged regions that were not always accessible to industrial roads. This element of being isolated in remote places not only protected these areas from the effects of globalization but also forced people to form close social connections with each other, and to incorporate many uphill and downhill walks into their daily routines. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and doesn't require much focus, thus leading to a sort of meditation.

As you can see, these daily habits are easy to incorporate into our routines. We may still be living in busy cities and taking public transport to get places instead of strolling through the Italian countryside, but adding these little tricks may make us a bit happier and healthier. Give them a try!

Find out where Blue Zones are located

You may also like this article about 11 habits for a healthier life!

Victoria Thais

A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info

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