Have you ever wondered what people who reach 100 years of age enjoy their independence? According to Dan Buettner, author, and pioneering explorer in longevity research, he found that on Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan and Nicoya, Costa Rica are places where people live much longer than average.  These places are identified as “Blue Zones”. Buettner found that people who live in these places practice at least one of the following habits in the morning. 

4 Morning Habits for Longevity, according to Blue Zones

  • Identifying your “ikigai” = ikigai is a word of Japanese origin that refers to discovering the main reason for existence; a reason to get up every day and lead life with a purpose.  According to Blue Zones, having a purpose is tied to longevity as it gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning as you age.  What gets you out of bed?
  • Eating a healthy breakfast = A 105-year-old woman living in Loma Linda, California shares that she starts her day with a bowl of oatmeal with dates, walnuts, and some soymilk.  Accompanied by a glass of prune juice.
  • Enjoying a morning cup of coffee = People who live in the Blue Zones enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning.  These people drink 2-3 cups of black coffee a day.  The American Heart Society found that drinking coffee, with or without caffeine, is associated with lower risk of total mortality.
  • Saying something nice to the first person you meet in the morning = Buettner’s recommendation. Cultivating a healthy social life through significant human relationships and connecting with the community and the environment is caring for emotional health.  Whether it’s first thing in the morning or throughout the day, connecting with others helps lead longer, happier lives. 

These five places, called “Blue Zones”, share other characteristics.  They have a diet based mostly on plants, in their daily lives they keep moving and consider sharing with the family a priority.  These features have been shown to promote the longevity and health of these residents.  

Dare to practice any of these habits from the moment you wake up to start the day.  What we consume, how active we are, and connecting with other people will help us live longer and feel better as we age. 

By: Tania Mangual-Monzón, MS, BHE

Blue Zones 
Well and Good