Life expectancy in the United States averages around 80 years of age, but in some parts of the world – including specific locations in the U.S. – people are living to be 100 years old or more. In 2004, National Geographic assembled a team of experts to study the world’s longest-living people, and found five cities that met their criteria. These concentrations of long-living seniors – located in Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Loma Linda, California – are identified as The Blue Zones, and the keys to their longevity appear to be associated with their lifestyle and environment.
The team of researchers found several evidence-based common factors among all five Blue Zones that linked lifestyle with life expectancy, proving that elevating your lifestyle and environment can add years to your life and life to your years. But you don’t have to move to a Blue Zone to take advantage of a long, healthy life. Parc Communities embodies a premier lifestyle and environment that implements the following five key components found in Blue Zone regions.
The world’s longest-lived people don’t join gyms or lift weights. Instead they were documented as living in an environment that consistently keeps them on the move. They grow gardens, walk to a friend’s home, climb steps, and they don’t have mechanical conveniences for yard or house work.
Know Your Purpose
Without citing specific direction, the study found that knowing one’s purpose in life and understanding what’s truly worth living for can add up to seven years of life expectancy! Many people find their life’s mission in serving others, artistic endeavors, and maintaining healthy family relationships.
Stress leads to poor health and is associated with every major age-related disease. People in the Blue Zones experience stress, too, but the study revealed that they indulge daily in stress busting routines such as walking, praying, meditating, taking a nap, or attending social activities.
The study shows that choosing or creating social circles that support healthy behaviors is an essential element to living well. Including this one component does more to add happy years to your life than nearly anything else, because of the destructive nature of isolation.
The study confirmed that over 98% of Blue Zone centenarians belonged to a faith-based community. Regardless of denomination, attending religious services four times a month can add four to fourteen years to one’s life.
Here at Parc Communities, we recognize the value of Blue Zone lifestyle habits, and have created comprehensive Wellness Programs that emphasize four primary functional components: Social, Physical, Intellectual, and Spiritual. We offer our residents the tools and opportunities to improve their health and build a more fulfilling lifestyle.