I have finally arrived at the last chapter - Chapter 6 Your Personal Blue Zone, Putting the Blue Zones Lessons to Work in Your Life. For those of you who are just beginning to read this series of posts for the month of July, I have been dedicating my blog to reading and discussing the book, "The Blue Zones Lessons For Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner.
The chapter starts out with a challenge of sorts, finding out how your life could be improved by taking on the behaviors associated with all four blue zones. The author asks you to go to this website www.bluezones.com and fill out a questionnaire called the Vitality Compass. This gives you a measure of how well you are already integrating the longevity behaviors of the centenarians from the blue zones. I call it a challenge because if you take it you will be able to see if you are actively creating health practices and lifestyles into your day. It is a great opportunity to use the lessons of these wonderful elders to improve the quality of your health.
The next step he suggests is to follow the “power nine steps.” Integrate these behaviors into your life now so as you age they are just part of your daily routine. These power nine are specifically patterned for a Western life style. They cover the following areas: how you eat, how you think, how you create social networks and how you create healthy patterns in your life.
Here are the power nine steps:
Move Naturally – Be active without having to think about it
Hara Hachi Bu – Painlessly cut calories by 20 percent
Plant Slant – Avoid meat and processed foods
Grapes of Life – Drink red wine (in moderation)
Purpose Now – Take time to see the big picture
Down Shift – Take time to relieve stress
Belong – Participate in a spiritual community
Loved Ones First – Make family a priority
Right Tribe – Be surrounded by those who share Blue Zone Values
What I liked about the recommendations is that they suggest trying up to three at one time. Trying to change all nine areas of your life at one time is difficult and you set yourself up for failure. I completely agree.