Converge International - Mental Fitness - Page 32



With lifestyle being so much
more important than we
might intuitively think, where
should we look globally to
find the variables in daily
living that support longevity?
That’s precisely what
happened. The National
Geographic and the National
Institute on Ageing teamed
up to explore this question –
where on the planet do
people live longest and what
can we learn from them?
After a global search, they
found a number of societies
that lived long lives, but
ultimately focused on four
specific regions where
citizens enjoyed far longer
average lifespans than the
global norm. They called
these 'blue zones'. The four
communities the
researchers focused on
were: Okinawa (Japan);
Sardinia (in the
Mediterranean); Loma Linda
(California, USA); and Nicoya
Peninsula (Costa Rica). They
sought to explore the crosscultural factors in these
various communities to see
what might be common to
them. This study also looked
at the quality of life and
whether those studied
enjoyed relatively good
health in their advanced
years.
There’s a lot of confusion
about what might be key to
the factors that contribute to
longevity. Should you be
running ultra-marathons or
doing something more
sedate like tai chi? Which, if
any, supplements should we
be taking? What elements in
our diet are important? Does
a vegetable-based diet offer
more benefit than a high
quality meat-based diet?
What about meaning and
purpose, social
connectedness or
spirituality? What part do
they play in supporting
longevity….if any?

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