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What We Can Learn From “Blue Zones” About Living A Longer, Healthier Life

There’s more to retirement than dollars and cents. While financial well-being can help create happiness, your physical and mental health are also critical components to a life well lived as a retiree.

We’re always interested in new science (and old wisdom) on how folks get to the ripe old age of 100 or more while still enjoying life. Sometimes centenarians’ secrets have had to do with minimizing stress, increasing involvement with friends and the community, following a certain diet, or indulging in a daily beer or cocktail (or two).

Recently, researchers who study longevity circled back to the small island of Sardinia. Located just west of Italy, Sardinia is part of the famed “Blue Zone,” the term given to the handful of places where scientists have found the locals live longer than the average age for their home countries.

The Blue Zone is where we find the world’s oldest people. On this list of longevity-rich locales are: Okinawa, Japan; Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula; our own Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, an isolated Greek island; and, of course, Italian island Sardinia. Among these very different areas, researchers have found common threads. Residents of these places share certain lifestyle characteristics, like close-knit families, low incidences of smoking, and moderate, daily physical activity, to name a few.

Even with these elements identified, scientists still feel there is much to be learned from Blue Zones about how to live long, healthy lives. When researchers went back to Sardinia, they wanted to know whether genetics or social factors played a bigger role in the island residents’ lifespans.

Take a look at the video below to see what they learned, and read on in our other articles below to learn how you can apply the secrets of longevity to your own life, no matter where you live.

Check Out: 5 Affordable Places To Retire Abroad

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