Ever heard of “The Power Nine” or “Blue Zones”?

Many residents of the original Blue Zones practice nine healthy lifestyle habits that help them live longer, healthier, happier lives.

  1. Moving Naturally. The world’s longest-lived people are constantly nudged into moving by the environment that surrounds them. Every trip to work, to a friend’s house, or to church occasions a walk.
  2. Purpose. In all of the Blue Zones, people say they have something to live for beyond work- what they describe as “why I wake up in the morning.” Research shows that a sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.
  3. Downshift. Long-lived people have developed routines to shed stress: Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap, and Sardinians enjoy a happy hour.
  4. 80 percent. In Japan’s Okinawans Blue Zone, people remind themselves to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full with the phrase Hara hachi bu. If Americans adopted this rule, they could lose an average of 17 pounds in the first year
  5. Plant Slant. Beans, including fava, black, soy, and lentil, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets, which also include relatively small amounts of meat.
  6. Wine at 5. People in all Blue Zones (even some Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly-one to two glasses a day with friends or food. Moderate drinkers tend to outlive nondrinkers.
  7. Right Tribe. Social circles support healthy behaviors. Okinawans, for example, create moais– groups of five friends who are committed to each other for life.
  8. Research has shown that attending faith-based services four times a month adds 4 to 14 years of life expectancy. The choice of denomination doesn’t seem to matter.
  9. Loved ones first. Successful centenarians in the Blue Zones put their families first. They invest in their children with time and love, and children care for their elders. Additionally, having a life partner can add up to three years to life expectancy.


We do not take any credit for the information on this blog post. This information was provided by the National Geographic "Blue Zones" article.