9OLD

9 Secrets of Longevity

As Buettner and his team studied the Blue Zones, they identified nine common traits shared by those communities where people live longer. He was surprised that it wasn’t only food and lifestyle, but also creating a most beneficial environment. Here’s a look at these longevity-boosting traits, known as the “Power of 9.:

  • Move naturally.  “Do your own house and yard work, go up and down your stairs with your laundry, knead your own dough,” Buettner advises. “Incorporate more movement every hour.”
  • Know your purpose. “Take time to recognize your values, strengths, talents, passions and gifts,” Buettner says. Reflect, and work on yourself.
  • Down shift. Relieve chronic stress by finding time each day to nap, meditate or pray.
  • The 80% rule. Cut 20 percent of your daily calories with proven healthy practices: eat a big breakfast, dine with your family, and begin each meal by expressing appreciation.
  • Plant slant. Eat mostly plant-based foods, and small portions of meat no more than twice a week.
  • Wine at 5. Drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. This longevity tip had one exception: those in the Loma Linda Blue Zone were Seventh Day Adventists, who abstain from alcohol.
  • Family first. Living in a loving, thriving family can add up to six years to your life. Work on a positive, committed relationship and stay close to your aging parents and grandparents.
  • Belong. “Those with the most social connectedness tend to live longer,” Buettner says. Be part of a group of healthy-minded, supportive people.
  • Right tribe. Good friends have a positive effect on your longevity. Support them and adopt healthy behaviors together.
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