The average life expectancy of an American born today is approximately 78 years. Of course, incorporating lifestyle activities can affect this number.
One way to positively influence your life expectancy is to experiment with incorporating one or more of the Blues Zones® 9:
- Know your purpose (see Purpose Ritual).
- Move naturally.
- Downshift regularly to keep stress levels in check. See the Stress Well – Downshifting Rituals page for related rituals.
- Eat until 80% full and eat the smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening.
- Plant Slant: Eat more plants.
- Happy Hour: Wine at 5; drink alcohol moderately and regularly. (Note: Of course, this is not appropriate for people who have current or past addiction to alcohol)
- Belong to a faith-based community.
- Power of love: Focus on sustaining close relationships.
- Stay social with the right tribe. Garner support from healthy relationships and social networks.
Start with the Stress Well and Nourish Rituals:
From my years of experience, I wholeheartedly believe that you should begin with the Stress Well – Downshifting Rituals. If your stress level is elevated in any way, your immune system, memory, focus, concentration and many body processes, amongst other things, become impaired. Additionally, you will likely be unable to cultivate or sustain the healthy habits needed to keep you functioning optimally.
Once your stress is manageable, move to the Nourish Ritual. Dan Buettner, author of the Blue Zones, says, “food is the entrance ramp for health.” Notice that 3 of the Blues Zones® 9 have to do with food or drink.
Making simple shifts to your nutrition can move you towards better health fairly quickly, unless, of course you have a serious diagnosis or have neglected your health for far too long. Nevertheless, making changes in the what you eat and the way your body is nourished can go a long way to help with aging well.
Once you’ve incorporated shifts and habits in each of these two areas, explore each of the other Ritual pages. Pick one or two things that you are willing to work on and take action.