Researcher and explorer Dan Buettner follows the trail of isolated communites where there is an unusually high incidence of centenarians. Those are the lucky few who live to see their hundredth birthday and beyond. Not so lucky, perhaps, if they are lonely and unhealthy, but in The Blue Zone these folks still live with their families, socialize with friends, prepare their own meals, work, garden, and sometimes walk many miles a day. And there lies a piece of the answer.
The four "zones" Buettner examines include communities and villages in Sardinia, Okinawa, Costa Rica and Loma Linda, California. It is truly impressive to read descriptions of the purposeful, vibrant, happy and disease-free lives these elders live. He combines extensive interviews with dozens of these "blue zoners" and contemporary research from numerous longevity experts and finds common ground in each zone.
And what are some of the secrets? Well, you can imagine. The prescription is not an easy one for modern Americans: slow down; move naturally; eat good food at home, some of which you have grown or prepared yourself; put family first. Buettner presents all of the lessons learned from the elders with a plan for how to work them into your life. And, for a long and healthy journey to a satisfying and healthy end, choosing at least some of these habits seems worth it. L'chaim.