We’ve been looking at The Power 9, nine common characteristics of those who live in the Blue Zones. Blue Zones are five geographic areas around the world where people, on average, live longer, healthier lives than average. They are known for having high populations of centenarians, which are people who live 100 years or more.
You can read more about the Blue Zones HERE.
Click HERE to learn about No. 1: MOVE NATURALLY.
Today we’re going to talk about No. 2 and 3: Define Your Purpose and Downshift in life.
No. 2: KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
Why do you wake up in the morning?
What’s your reason for life??
Having purpose is linked with health and longevity. Studies show that individuals who expressed a clear goal in life living longer than those who did not.
In the Blue Zones, Okinawans identify purpose as ikigai, but that’s not quite accurate. Ikigai encapsulates an idea beyond and bigger than purpose, referring to that which brings value and joy to one’s life, including but not limited to things such as children, friends, work, and hobbies.
This zest for life is key for those who live happy lives with a healthy body and mind. s. A study conducted on people aged 65 and over revealed that those who only work financial reasons have a 1.55 times greater risk of decline in functional capacity two years later than those who work in pursuit of their ikigai.
In today’s fast-paced world, we often get caught up in keeping up with busy schedules and reacting to events. Ikiagi requires introspection and reflection. Take time to slow down and examine why you do what you do. Take an internal inventory of your life, and work to articulate your values, passions, gifts and talents.
Be honest with yourself. Recognize, too, this is more about the journey than the end point. As we go through different stages in life, our ikagai may change or multi-faceted. Make small changes to align your gifts, talents and interests to create purpose in daily life.
Our upcoming Blue Zones 6-Week Challenge from April 13 – May 18 will include activities, exercises, and group discussion to facilitate defining your purpose.
No. 3: DOWNSHIFT
Every major age-related disease involves chronic inflammation. Stress leads to chronic inflammation.
Based on that, a key factor to reduce chronic inflammation in older adults is reducing the amount of stress in their lives. The world’s longest-lived people have routines that help shed that stress. Here are activities in which those in the Blue Zones participate that helps reduce stress in their lives:
- Go outside and get 15 minutes of sunlight.
- Take a few moments each day to remember ancestors.
- Set a weekly date with a friend.
- Take a nap.
- Happy hour.
- Pray, meditate, or reflect for 10+ minutes a day.
- Develop a purpose statement.
- Make intentional friendships with those older/younger.
It’s important to find a You, stress-relieving strategy that works for you and make it a routine. You’ll benefit both physically and emotionally!
Learn about other ways to incorporate this into your life and much more (!!) during the Blue Zones 6-Week Challenge from April 13 – May 18 with University of Iowa professor emerita Beth Pelton.
BLUE ZONES 6-WEEK CHALLENGE
April 13 – May 18
Sign up for the 6-Week Challenge — Click HERE!
Thursday’s beginning April 13
In-studio at 1:30PM
Zoom option at 12:00PM
There is both a in-studio and Zoom option. Read more about it on our EVENTS page; or call (319) 337-4777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.