Human longevity is thought to be explained by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. But recent studies show that as much as 90 percent of life expectancy may be determined by habits. Several years ago, a team of National Geographic scientists identified four regions in the world where people live the longest. In these so-called “Blue Zones,” residents experience far lower rates of chronic disease than Americans do. And people who live in these zones share common habits: they eat mostly plants, are spiritual and have strong ties with family and friends. Now, researchers have identified a fifth Blue Zone: the island of Ikaria, Greece. Author and explorer Dan Buettner on lessons for a long life from the world’s oldest people.
Dan Buettner presented "How to live to be 100+" at TED in September 2009. To find the path to long life and health, Buettner studies the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the nine common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.
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Excerpt from "The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner. Copyright 2012 by Dan Buettner. Reprinted here by permission of National Geographic. All rights reserved.