Thursday, December 11, 2008

BLUE ZONE Bandwagon

Have you heard about these so-called, ‘Blue Zones?’ The story has been making the rounds on Oprah, Anderson Cooper, The Today Show etc. but just in case you haven’t, a brief definition from the WIKI people:

Blue Zones is a project that studies the regions of the world where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years. Scientists and demographers have classified these longevity hot-spots by their inhabitant’s uncanny ability to live longer, on average, than anyone else in the world.

The hub-bub here, is that the Nicoya Peninsula has been added to this very exclusive, albeit short list of Blue Zone locations; joining the likes of Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda California and a few others.
The old people, sorry, the centenarians inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity.

Let’s see what the researchers say:

• Family comes FIRST
• Centenarians don’t typically smoke.
• Plant-Based Diet, in other words, fruits and veggies, not so much meat.
• Constant Moderate Physical Activity – Moderate physical activity is an inseparable part of life.
• Social Engagement – People of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities.
• Legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils, lupins, and peanuts are routinely consumed.
• Having a ‘purpose’ in life, but also a good attitude about aging.
• And of course 2 glasses of red wine……seriously.

I swear I’m not a party-pooper. And as far as Costa Rica goes, I consider the entire country a Blue Zone, hell, their 'over-all' way of living is one of the reasons I live here- Pura Vida is for REAL and I feel privileged to be a part of it. That said….
….. are you fuckin kidding me? Did we not know this? Are you telling me we need ‘research’ to explain that a positive outlook, sense of purpose, healthy diet and exercise, social interaction and two glasses of red wine may increase our odds of living longer. *I’ve done a little of my own research, you may substitute Cacique for the 2 glasses of red wine.

Sorry, but I’m taking this a bit further.

I’d be willing to bet that the centenarians who live in these Blue Zones haven’t strayed more than 200 miles from home their entire life. The simple life is a WAY of life, but if you ask me, it’s still ‘extreme’ in its own way. Their life is simple and their thoughts are simple. And although we can learn something, and should, I KNOW they haven’t had half the life experiences I have. They’re content in their tiny ‘Blue Zone’ world and there’s nothing wrong with that; if it gets them to 100+, then GREAT. BUT, I’ll take 80 any day of the week for MY life. I prefer my ‘simple’ with a dose of ‘complexity’. I need to travel, contemplate new business ventures, party my ass off, experience things outside the box, keep an eye on the political system, change my mind often- and every other thing I can’t think of right now.

Simple IS, as simple DOES, and for my tastes- a little to ‘confining.’

Screw 100.

Go ahead; pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Pass the peas.

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