• Hana Kovac

Secrets for Longer, Better Life

My grandmother is 97 years old and thriving. For a long time, I thought it has to do something with her genetics but the more I dive into research the more I realize what is her secret to such a long life.

The Blue Zones project is a project that describes the characteristic lifestyles and the environments of the world's longest-lived people. The term first appeared as an international concept in the November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story "The Secrets of a Long Life"by Dan Buettner. Buettner identified five geographic areas where people live statistically longest: Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece) and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. He offers an explanation, based on empirical data and first hand observations, as to why these populations live healthier and longer lives.

If you take the 3-minute test on the project page, you will get a view of what are the characteristics of living long, disease free life.

1. Move: To live longer, you don't have to run marathon or have a prepaid membership at the nearest gym. Move naturally while doing gardening or take a long walk like shepherds in Sardinia.

2. Plant based diet: All blue zones diets all low in meat and feature beans or lentils. However, if your digestion is not strong, beans can be problematic (my case). Soaking beans and lentils with a bit of apple cider vinegar overnight can help, or find other non-meat protein sources. Fruit and veggies, nuts, olive oil and low consumption of alcohol (if, then red wine) are also part of centenarians' diet.

3. Believe: Almost all centenarians belonged to some faith-based community. We often laughed at the fact that my grandmother visited five churches on a Sunday. It seems that it helped her to live longer. You don't have to be a member of some religious community but believing that life has a higher purpose makes the difference.

4. Social contacts: Even scientists now agree that loneliness kills. Belonging somewhere and finding your tribe prolongs life.

When thinking about my grandmother, I have to add one very important characteristic of her life. All her life, she practiced what is now taught by gurus on expensive health programs - SELF LOVE. How many of us can stand in front of the mirror and make a positive affirmation: 'I love myself and I deeply and completely accept myself.'? This affirmation is a part of an Emotional Freedom Technique. So love yourself and spread love, the true secret of longevity.

To learn more about the lifestyle hacks for longevity: https://www.knowledgeformen.com/9-tips-for-a-longer-life/

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