Welcome to the Blue Zone!
While the Fountain of Youth remains elusive, Blue Zone hotspots around the world show us that living happily extends life and makes for a life worth living. What is a Blue Zone you asked? These are hot spots for both longevity and health based on several key factors such as diet, a sense of purpose, community connections and remaining physical and vital… Where people of more than 100 years of age live healthy, purposeful lives. (Spoiler Alert: One of these coveted spots is located right here in Costa Rica!)
New York Times bestselling author, educator and explorer, Dan Buettner has worked to describe and define these Blue Zones and to learn what makes these areas and their residents so special. The five places in the world where people live the longest, and are healthiest are:
- Okinawa, Japan
- Sardinia, Italy
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
- Ikaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California
At first, these 5 locations might not appear to have much in common, but take a closer look. They’re all relatively warm year-round, fairly small, remote and close to the ocean.
“The beauty of the Blue Zones is not one or two big things, but a constellation of little things that add up.”Dan Buettner, Bestselling author of Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who’ve Lived The Longest
What Makes Nicoya, Costa Rica Special?
Let’s take a look at our own Blue Zone, Nicoya, Costa Rica. Sure, this Caribbean nation is economically secure and has excellent health care, but other factors are at play. Residents of Nicoya, an 80-mile peninsula just south of the Nicaraguan border are part of the rarified Blue Zone. Let’s discover why.
Plan de Vida
Having a reason to live or “plan de vida,”is essential. A life driven by purpose regardless of age is essential for a positive outlook and remain hard at work. Centenarians seem to have enjoyed physical work of all their lives. They find joy in everyday physical chores.
Community and Family Connection
Humans are very social creatures! Maintaining social networks is essential for Blue Zone life. Nicoyan centenarians get frequent visits from neighbors. And, they tend to live with families and children or grandchildren who provide support, as well as a sense of purpose and belonging.
Drinking Hard Water
Nicoyan water has the country’s highest calcium content, perhaps explaining the lower rates of heart disease, as well as stronger bones and fewer hip fractures.
Eating Light & Right
Eating fewer, and well-chosen calories appears to be one of the surest ways to add years to your life. Nicoyans eat a light dinner early in the evening. For most of their lives, Nicoyan centenarians ate a traditional Mesoamerican diet highlighted with “the three sisters” of agriculture: squash, corn, and beans. Not a lot of meat, not a lot of fat. Simple.
Nicoyans regularly take in the sunshine, which helps their bodies produce vitamin D for strong bones and healthy body function. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a host of problems, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Elders often sunbathe for only brief periods (about 15 minutes on the legs and arms.) And, of course, there’s enough sun for everyone in Costa Rica!
Regular Exercise, Staying Active
Daily walks, regular chores as well as laughing, dancing just in general enjoying life. The key to a long live? The sedentary lifestyle is not for these folks. This delightful region of costa Rica provides a warm, rich climate making it easy to venture out regularly.
Although Nicoya is Blue Zone central in Latin America, you can observe the benefits of the Costa Rican lifestyle and its benefits across the country. The Pura Vida lifestyle permeates the Tico (locals) lifestyle and seeps into lives of the lucky ones who come to visit or to reside in this magical place.
See for yourself! Nicoya, Costa Rica is merely an hours’ drive from Tamarindo. Our team at Costa Rica Vision will help you arrange a visit to this remarkable place and its people.
Create Your Own Custom Tour to Nicoya and beyond with Costa Rica Vision! Visit: https://www.costaricavision.com/adventure-tours/custom-tours/
Further Reading: Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who’ve Lived The Longest by Dan Buettner