Dan Buettner is a perennially-youthful 62 year old who is obsessed with wrinklies, sorry, matures. He’s also a riveting speaker, as he demonstrated yesterday at HILTON TEL AVIV at the annual Global Wellness Summit.
We’re going to have fun, he said. Hands up if you can answer Yes to all these questions. Do you typically
exercise at least 30 minutes a day? Do you eat at least three healthy vegetables a day? On a scale 1-10, are you at least7 out of 10 satisfied with your life? Do you have three or more real friends? Is your height at least twice the measurement of your waist? Have you honestly not smoked in five years? Are you seriously interested in living to 90 or more? Then, if you have put your hands up to, say, all but one, your lifespan right now is looking at 97.
Now, said Buettner, let us look at some of the so-called Blue Zones, the areas of the world renowned for extreme longevity. On Sardinia, for instance, it is known that the steepness, not the altitude, of your village, increases longevity. In addition, Sardinians who live longest have several, say five, daughters. It is worth noting that Sardinia’s shepherds live longest: they eat Mediterranean-style, with lots of fava beans.
Dan Buettner travelled extensively to the Blue Zones with National Geographic photographer. David McLain. looking at Blue Zones’ kitchens. In another Blue Zone, Okinawa, for instance, they found it is purple sweet potato that provides fibre, and they eat and make tofu together. Groups form small clubs, and there is no word for retirement. The same could be said for the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda CA. There are surgeons and health-care professionals working well into their 100s. A secret there is also strict Sabbath routines, with cooking and dining together and a healthy shared hike. As a result whereas usual US lifespa in 75 for males, and 80 for females, at Loma Linda the figures are 87 and 89.
Two more Blue Zone points. Ikaria, Greece, has only 20% of dementia cases as in the USA. And at the last Zone, Nicoya, it is a diet that is high in beans and squash that warrants coverage.
And so, Dr Dan, what are your own power points? Move naturally, he advocates. Have the right outlook, eat wisely, and connect – 50% of the secret to longevity is not to be lonely.
Finally, back to Hilton, hear the company’s Asia Pacific boss here: