The Power 9

Ever wonder what the secret to living a long and healthy life is? Haven’t we all? A team of researchers traveled the world trying to find the hotspots for longevity and learn their secrets. They identified 5 hotspots worldwide, called the Blue Zones:

  • Ikaria, Greece – One of the world’s lowest rates of middle age mortality and lowest rates of dementia.
  • Loma Linda, California – Seventh Day Adventists – Live 10 years longer than other North Americans.
  • Sardinia, Italy – The world’s highest concentration of male centenarians.
  • Okinawa, Japan – Females over 70 years old are the longest-lived population in the world.
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica – World’s lowest rate of middle age mortality, second highest concentration of male centenarians.

So what did these researcher uncover in their quest for health and longevity?

These 9 elements, called the Power 9, were common among all five hotspots:

  1. Move Naturally – Just stay active! Try gardening, walking down town instead of driving, cleaning your house, push mowing the lawn. Forget modern mechanical conveniences – try it manually!
  2. Purpose – “Why do I wake up in the morning?” Knowing your sense of purpose can add 7 years to your life expectancy!
  3. Plant Slant – Beans are the base of most centenarian diets. Meat, mostly pork, is eaten only about 5 times per month on average.
  4. 80% Rule – Stop eating when you’re 80% full! That extra 20% could make all of the difference in maintaining a healthy weight. People in the Blue Zones eat their smallest meal in late afternoon or early evening and then don’t eat again the rest of the day.
  5. Wine @ 5 – Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers! The secret is 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine) – and no, you can’t save up all week and have 14 glasses on Saturday night!
  6. Down Shift – Find a way to de-stress! Chronic stress can lead to chronic inflammation, which is associated with every major age-related disease. So do whatever makes you feel relaxed – take a nap, meditate, or even pray!
  7. Family First – Having a multigenerational household (grandparents, parents, and kids) can lower disease and mortality rates in children! Committing to a life partner can add 3 years to life expectancy.
  8. Right Tribe – Choose your friends wisely. Smoking, obesity, happiness, and loneliness have all been shown to be contagious! Find a club or a group of friends who support healthy behaviors.
  9. Belong – Research shows that attending faith-based services 4 times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy – denomination doesn’t matter!

How are your Power 9? Need some work? The average person’s life expectancy could increase by 10-12 years by adopting the Blue Zones lifestyle. Imagine what you could do with 10-12 years!