Blue Zoning the Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast Healthy Living Magazine Volume 4, Issue 3 - Baptist Medical Group

The five blue zones = Barbagia region of Sardinia, Ikaria, Greece, Loma Linda California, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica and Okinaway, Japan.

Did you know there are areas of the world called Blue Zones with high populations of people in their 90s and 100s? Living a long, healthy life and taking care of the senior community is important to Baptist. Read about how we want to ‘Blue Zone’ the Gulf Coast.

The average American life span is about 79 years, but there are places in this world that have us beat by nearly a decade. “Blue Zone” residents have developed nine important health habits that allow them to live long and vibrant lives. Let’s turn northwest Florida into a Blue Zone!

To learn about how you can follow a Blue Zone lifestyle, visit or call 855.469.6903

1. Move naturally.
Forget technology and mechanical conveniences. Do your own work and move without even thinking. You don’t need to be a frequent gym member or a marathon trainee. Instead, take up activities and habits, such as gardening, cycling or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. Find your purpose.
Know why you wake up every morning. Do you have children? A goal? A job or hobby you love? Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.
3. Down shift.
Decrease stress in your life by praying, meditating, enjoying friendly company, taking naps or remembering loved ones. Stress leads to chronic inflammation that is associated with every major age-related disease.
4. 80 percent rule.
Follow an Okinawan mantra and stop eating when you are 80 percent full. Eat your smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening, and make that your last meal of the day. When you think, “I could eat a few more bites,” stop there.
5. Plant slant. Eat beans.
The centenarian diet includes plenty of vegetables that they garden themselves.
6. Meat in moderation.
Blue Zone residents only eat small amounts of meat, mainly pork, about five times a month.
7. Shared spiritual practice.
All but five of the 263 Blue Zone residents interviewed belong to a faith-based community. No matter the denomination, research shows that attending weekly faith-based services could add four to 14 years to your life expectancy.
8. Loved ones first.
Keep parents and grandparents nearby and put your family first. Investing in your children gives them a purpose to stay around longer, motivating them to live longer.
9. Right tribe.
Long-lived individuals are often born into social circles that support healthy behaviors. Your environment is contagious. Know what to avoid, such as smoking, obesity and loneliness.