Camilla Hewitt chases immortality and answer the big question: how do I live longer?
Live To 100: How To Live Longer
If you tuned into the Netflix docuseries Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, you’ll be familiar with the five places around the world where people live longer and healthier lives. These include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. While we can’t all book a one-way ticket to buy time on Earth, there are lifestyle choices we can make to extend not just our lifespan but our health span too.
In modern culture, many of us stay active by regularly allocating an hour to exercise. In Blue Zones, the emphasis remains on moving naturally throughout the day. Lisa Carolan, founder of Our Retreat, says, ‘The human body is designed to move; however, we live in a world where a vast majority of people sit at a desk for eight hours a day.’ As an antidote to this, Lisa recommends adding functional movement to your routine. Based on real-world actions such as lunging, squatting, pushing and pulling, functional training can help reduce the risk of injury by improving coordination, mobility, and stability.
Moving onto what’s on our plates, Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik tells us, ‘Within blue zones, one of the principle dietary components is the high consumption of plants, which provide myriad antioxidants and polyphenols. These can help manage in inflammation and, as such, promote healthy ageing. Having a wider variety of plants in our diet is one way we can help mirror this. Moreover, their diet is pretty much based around whole foods, which means that ultra-processed foods don’t feature at all as compared to other areas of the world.’
Another factor to consider is the idea of purpose. In Blue Zones, a role within the community provides many, but particularly the elderly, with a reason to get up in the morning. Therapist Malminder Gill says, ‘Finding a purpose in life can promote longevity by providing a sense of meaning, satisfaction, and drive.’ If you’re struggling with this, Malminder recommends reconnecting with your core values and asking yourself what energises you. Community is also key to combating loneliness, which can be a major contributor to early mortality. Eve has the final word, reminding us that ‘having a close network and prioritising relationships is something we could all consider more in our perpetually busy lives’.
Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zone is available to stream on Netflix now, netflix.com