How To Live to 100 — Secrets of a long, healthy and happy life

If you’re living in US or Europe, it’s very likely your environment is designed for an UNHEALTHY Lifestyle.

I’m not gonna lie, I got inspiration for this article from a Netflix show: Live to 100 — Secrets of the Blue Zones.

The show contains 4 episodes, in which the author “Dan” researches the reasons of why people in certain regions of the world become noticeably older than people in other places.

He visits a few places:

  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Ogliastra region, Sardinia
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

In these places, he searches for possible reasons of why people get so old there.

And not only that; people are also happier and there is barely to NO dementia or Alzheimer… very interesting, no?

I found it SO interesting, that I wanted to write a bit about it.

The Main Secrets of Eternal Youth

So, what are the main reasons of why people in these places live such exceptionally long lives?

The show highlights four main principles that contribute to their longevity:

  1. Eat Wisely: The centenarians in Blue Zones consume a predominantly plant-based diet, which fuels their health and longevity.
  2. Move Naturally: Instead of structured exercise programs, people in Blue Zones incorporate physical activity into their daily lives through natural movements like walking, gardening, and manual labour.
  3. Connecting with Others: Strong social connections and a sense of community play a crucial role in the well-being of Blue Zone inhabitants.
  4. Having a Purpose or Outlook: Knowing one’s purpose in life and living it out every day is a common trait among the long-lived residents of these areas.

The funny thing is… I’m quite sure we all already knew these things. Definitely the first 2 points are known to us, but still, we need to talk about it.

These 4 principles are NOT about actively pursuing health, but are about the result of a lifestyle that naturally promotes well-being.

Oh and it also proves that adopting a Blue Zone lifestyle can potentially add years to one’s life, regardless of age.

How to incorporate this in OUR lives?

That’s the challenge isn’t it?

The people in the blue zones do all these things almost effortlessly, because they are in “the right environment”. The way their environment is shaped, dictates their lifestyle.

Photo by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash

People living in big cities, like me, COULD do it too. Adapting the lifestyle from the people in the blue zones requires a lot of effort and change… but here are some examples of things that we can do:

  1. Join Dance Classes: Sign up for dance classes like salsa, bachata, swing, ballroom, contemporary or anything else that you like… to stay active and socialize.
  2. Urban Hiking: Explore city parks and trails on foot to combine exercise with nature.
  3. Cooking Workshops: Attend plant-based cooking workshops to learn new recipes and cooking techniques.
  4. Volunteer Locally: Offer your time to local charities or community services to find purpose and connect with others.
  5. Public Transit: Use public transportation when possible to increase daily movement and reduce stress from driving.
  6. Meditation Groups: Join a meditation group to practice mindfulness and stress management with others.
  7. Local Farmers’ Markets: Shop at farmers’ markets for fresh, local produce and support community agriculture.
  8. Bike Sharing Programs: Utilize bike-sharing services for short trips around the city.
  9. Outdoor Yoga: Participate in outdoor yoga sessions to combine physical activity with relaxation.
  10. Book Clubs: Engage in a book club to foster social connections and mental stimulation.
  11. Community Fitness Challenges: Participate in local fitness challenges or marathons to stay active and meet new people.
  12. Gardening Clubs: Join a gardening club to learn about growing your own vegetables and herbs, even in small spaces.
  13. Walking Meetings: If you have the option, conduct meetings while walking to combine productivity with exercise.
  14. Walking Meetings: If you have the option, conduct meetings while walking to combine productivity with exercise.
  15. Spend time with Family: Prioritize spending quality time with family and loved ones.
  16. Plant-Based Diet: Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains into your meals. Try meatless Mondays or make vegetables the main part of your dish.

As you can see, there are many possibilities to live a healthier life. You just have to WANT it.

Of course it’s easier to take the car to work instead of the bicycle… but that’s a decision that’s up to you.

Alternatively, you can change living locations and move to a place where the environment boosts a healthier lifestyle.

Life isn’t (shouldn’t be) always about money

One last thing I found really interesting in the show, was a scene where the interviewer asked one of the old guys about his money.

“Do you have any money in the bank?”, the interviewer asked.
“No. If I have money, I treat myself”, the old man responded.

The old man’s response highlights the simplicity and fulfilment found in their way of life, which is less focused on financial status and more on the wealth of community, family, and well-being.

While, for us, everything these days is about money.

We have become slaves to money — no, actually, we have become slaves to our system. To our environment.

However, in these places where people live long, healthy and happy lives, money is less important.

This scene from the show teaches us that it’s not just about the length of life, but also the quality and richness of experiences, relationships, and a sense of contentment that often transcends material wealth.

Thanks for reading!

If you’ve got questions or thoughts, drop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you! Follow or ???? if you’d like to see more content like this. Or buy me a coffee, this stuff is magical 😉

P.S. did you claim your copy of my free e-book yet?

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Michiel Schuer

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Enthusiastic about learning new things, side-hustles, and translating my personal experiences into motivational stories.

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