Since time began people have been dieting, supplementing and exercising excessively in the pursuit of better health and longevity. 

Now a group of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers and epidemiologists believe they have uncovered the secrets behind enjoying a healthier and longer life. 


Through zeroing in on centenarians living in geographic “Blue Zones” – a group of countries across Europe, Asia and North America with lower rates of chronic diseases and a longer life expectancy – the team uncovered some common factors shared by the oldest and the healthiest residents. 


  1. Unsurprisingly the first involves exercise, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, Blue Zone occupants emphasise incidental activities such as walking to work or school, and cycling or walking when talking on their phones were better for long-term health and longevity. 


  1. While they still experience stress, people in the Blue Zones have created better routines to deal with it through meditation and naps. The centenarians from these regions sleep between seven to nine hours per night and take frequent naps – a factor said to reduce their risk of heart disease by a third. 


  1. Blue Zone communities also follow a strict rule when it comes to eating patterns, preferring to stop eating when they are 80 percent full to prevent overeating. They also tend to eat their smallest meal in the evening. While beans are a staple of their diet, meat is not, being consumed only five times per month on average. 


  1. Following the belief they should drink in moderation, one to two alcoholic drinks per day is the maximum Blue Zone inhabitants allow themselves while some abstain altogether, believing this is better for their all-round health.  


  1. Putting their families first by investing time into their offspring and keeping ageing family members nearby was found to be one of the main reasons residents in the Blue Zone enjoyed a longer life. 


  1. Lastly, building a social circle that supports healthy behaviours was also seen as a key contributor to a long and healthy life. Further proof happiness really is contagious! 


While it would be a stretch for many of us to adopt all these behaviours, taking just some of these tips onboard will be good for you! 


Next time you go grocery shopping with your Just Better Care Support Worker why not get the ingredients for a healthy Blue Zone inspired meal. Check out these delicious recipes with your Support Worker and remember they can even help you prepare it in the kitchen too.