Discover the Secrets of the Blue Zones

Learn these best practices from around the globe.


Japan is a blue zone where people tend to live longer.

 (imtmphoto /

What is the secret to living a long and happy life? For centuries, we have asked ourselves this question. Around the world, each culture continues to practice healthy habits passed down through the generations. Discover these secrets to longevity to look and feel your best at any age.

The Secret to Longevity Could be Found in the Blue Zones
The term blue zone first appeared in a 2015 National Geographic article “The Secrets of a Long Life” written by Dan Buetter. The best-selling author traveled the world seeking reasons why people in certain cultures live longer than others. He identified what he terms the blue zones, five regions where the people live the longest: Okinawa Japan, Sardinia Italy, Nicoya Costa Rica, Ikaria Greece, and the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda California. 

His research, based on data and first-hand observations, may have revealed the hidden secrets to longevity. By following the healthy habits of the blue zones, you gain long term benefits like living a longer, better life, feeling more energized and strong, meeting new people, nurturing supportive relationships, living with purpose, and helping to better your community.

Healthy Habits in the Blue Zones
Here are five healthy habits that you can follow from blue zones around the world.

Japan - Family and Social Connection

People  are social creatures that thrive through connection. A study shows the positive impact of a tight-knit family, and happy marriages lead to better health and longer life span. Remember to spend quality time with family, whether it's the family you’re born with or the family you choose. Like in Okinawa, Japan, where they have a lifelong circle of friends called a moai to support each other well into old age, according to National Geographic.

Seniors socializing in Japan.

(imtmphoto /

Costa Rica - Strong Communities

Even with technology that allows us to speak to anyone with the press of a button, many people feel more disconnected than ever. But in the blue zones, they have maintained a firm sense of community. People know and help their neighbors. Like in Nicoya, Costa Rica, where centenarians get frequent visits from neighbors. They encourage a plan de vida, or reason to live, by listening to each other, laughing together, and appreciating what they have,reported Forbes

Celebrating community in Costa Rica

(Cara Koch /

Italy - Moderate Physical Activity

You probably already know that exercise improves health. But which kind of exercise? Blue zone research say ditch intense workouts. It’s important to stay active but also important not to over-exercise. For optimal health, try moderate physical activity like tai chi. Meanwhile, shepherds in Sardinia walk five miles throughout the day to get their dose of physical activity, according to National Geographic..

Seniors walking in Italy

(View Apart /

Greece - Vitamin D

The island of Ikaria is named after Icarus, the young man in Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun and plunged into the sea. But in Ikaria, getting enough sunshine is the key to living a long life thanks to vitamin D. This vitamin, also known as the sunshine vitamin, provides importantvhealth benefits that reduce inflammation, lower high blood pressure, help muscles, improve brain function, and may even protect against cancer. Get your vitamin D by gardening, going for a walk in the park, or sitting outside on your balcony. And when you can’t go outside, taking a daily dose of vitamin D supplements will help get those same health benefits.

Senior woman soaking up some vitamin D in Greece.

 (iremt /

California - Plant Heavy Diet

Eating a diet heavy in plants is a vital part of the blue zone. According to NBC News, the Seventh Day Adventists in California who eat a primarily pesco-vegetarian diet that consists of one serving of fish a day as well as foods like avocados, nuts, beans, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and soy milk. Just like in Ikaria, people keep their kitchens stocked with rosemary, sage, and oregano teas (herbs that are rich in antioxidants).

Healthy plant-based food.

(Wild As Light /