On average, the lifespan across the globe is 71.4 years. While that varies greatly from place to place, there are five specific “Blue Zones” that have a longer life expectancy than the rest of the world. Named after the blue circles used by researchers to identify the first one, these zones give great insight into the secret of longevity and reveal the best tricks and tips to living life to the fullest.
Sardinia is home to the largest group of oldest-living men in the world. It’s mostly attributed to diet (which is largely plant-based), constant physical activity, and a strong emphasis on family. In addition, the rare M26 marker has been passed down through generations. This gene has been linked to above average longevity.
Okinawa’s key to living a long life is simple: support. Each Okinawan is part of a moai, which is essentially your life-long support group. From positive encouragement to being there for you when you’re depressed or stressed, researchers credit this tradition as the reason why this city is home to the longest-living women in the world.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
In Nicoya, they’re all about eating a natural, nutrient-filled diet. Mainly focusing on beans, squash, corn, and tropical fruits, it’s this diet coupled with lots of fresh air and hard work that have most natives living well into their 90s.
Loma Linda, Calif., U.S.A.
The only North American Blue Zone just happens to house a large community of Seventh-day Adventists. This Protestant denomination places a large emphasis on community and the Sabbath, which is strictly reserved for resting. They also eat a diet that consists of plants, whole grains and nuts, while rarely, if at all, eating meat. Members of the religion typically live 10 years longer than other Americans.
Who wouldn’t live a long life if all they did all day was lounge around on a beautiful mediterranean island? While it may not be all lounging, the people of Ikaria do follow a stricter schedule with later bedtimes and daily naps. They also eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, potatoes and olive oil, with little to no processed foods in their diet. One third of the city’s residents live to be at least 90 and suffer from extremely few health problems.