Longevity fascinates me. Why do some people live 70 years? And why do others live 110 years? Some people die extremely fit still and some die in pain. How does this work? This is not a post in which I am going to tell you how you’ll live 110 years, because well, I simply can’t. But! I am going to tell you that there are ways to make sure you age in a healthy way, feeling fit. That’s what I thrive for myself (at 18 years old haha). The past few weeks I read: The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner.
The Blue Zones
The Blues Zones is written by Dan Buettner, but this was an assignment from National Geographic and so it’s a whole team who put this book together. Their research team has travelled the world to the so-called Blue Zones of the world. Blue Zones are places where people get strikingly old, over 100. But that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is that they do so while they’re still very fit.
What I found most important from this book is that Buettner found out that your surroundings are the most important thing when you’re aging. Changing behavior is extremely hard, that why so many people suffer from the so-called ‘western’ diseases. Buettner focuses on the surroundings, it is extremely important in becoming old healthily. A few examples: building curbsides and biking lanes, een maximum amount of fast food restaurants in one area and forbidding commercials for fast food. Buettner says this makes massive changes. That’s what makes his research so important, it isn’t just about behavior change, like most books are.
My personal opinion
I looooved this book! I finished it very quickly. As I said: I like the focus on your surroundings. But at the same time it is a mix with individual behavior, which I find important to know for myself. At the end of the book there is even a tool to see your life-expectancy by your habits today. It shows that you can edit your own behavior and live longer. I think it’s a great combination together with ‘Veroudering Vertragen’ by Kris Verburgh, I wrote about that book in this post.
Here’s what I personally learned on individual behavior from The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. Of course it isn’t a guarantee, but following research can never be the wrong thing to do:
– don’t smoke
– grow your own food (this is a double-win, you get exercise ánd food)
– eat plant-based food (fruit and vegetables are the core)
– have good social contacts (family, friends, at sports, volunteering etc.)
– have a clear goal for your life
– move as much as you can on a low level, like taking the the stairs
What does me living healthy have to do with an eco-positive lifestyle? A lot! Living healthy is not only good for you, but also for the planet. A plant-based diet is good for the planet, moving instead of using vehicles is good for the planet and mostly: you being healthy is good for the planet. You can do more for our planet if you’re healthy and happy. I think it’s a waste that so many people who suffer from the so-called ‘western’ diseases don’t know that they can do a lot to improve their health. Diabetes type 2 for example can be reversed with a healthy lifestyle. This would save us all medication, surgeries, trouble, work, pain and money. We can do a lot with those resources we save. Working on prevention for example!
Dan Buettner has been a guest on the Rich Roll podcast too and I looooved that episode too. You can listen to it here.