What’s a Blue Zone? It’s an area where people live extraordinarily long and live well – far more so than in most parts of the world. The term “Blue Zone” derives from the discoveries of Dan Buettner, an explorer who traveled the world visiting different lands, cultures, and ethnic groups. Occasionally he would find a place where, almost inexplicably, the population had an unusually long life span, and the people seemed happier, healthier, and more engaged in life for a longer time than average. Buettner and his team circled these magical spots on the map in blue ink. Blue Zones became a subject of fascination. Why were the people in these “zones” happier, healthier, and more long-lived than the rest of the world?
- A sense of purpose
- Constant physical activity
- Regular stress-reducing practices
- Not overeating
- Largely plant-based foods
- Neither teetotaling nor excess alcohol consumption: 1–2 glasses of wine per day, generally
- Part of a community centered on a belief system or faith
- A strong commitment to family
- A strong and reliable support network
You can kind of picture the quaint small village or town in which such a lifestyle might exist; multi-generations of families living close to one another; a style of cuisine shared in common by all; and an ongoing give-and-take of support, stress relief, and affirmation of life’s values among all the members of the little population.
Which describes, almost to a tee, how life can be within the microcosm of a shared home. When a pair or small group of women live together and share the same core values, eat healthy, practice similar life habits, and give one another ongoing mutual support, – physical, financial, and emotional – a tiny Blue Zone is created. No wonder women who are close to women friends live longer and healthier lives.