By John Ardill
Many retirees have a difficult time maintaining a purpose in life. I want to address that in this blogpost.
A recent Netflix documentary caught my attention. It is called “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones.” It is fascinating and well worth the watch. You may not wish to live to 100, but I am sure you would prefer to live the rest of your life pain-free, happy and fulfilled.
“Blue Zones” are regions around the world known for their high concentration of centenarians: people who live to be 100 years or older. The five Blue Zones identified in the documentary are Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece and Loma Linda, California.
Researchers have studied these zones to uncover some of the secrets to these folks’ longevity and overall well-being. While genetics play a role, lifestyle factors are considered crucial.
Here are some of the secrets of the Blue Zones – and, because I am going to create my very own Blue Zone, how I measure up. How do you? Let me know.
Thanks to my wife, Joanne, I mainly follow a plant-based diet, although I still enjoy a good steak once in a while.
Moderate Caloric Intake
I’ve maintained a healthy weight and waistline over the years, partly thanks to my determination to defy the typical weight gain associated with aging.
Regular Physical Activity
I’ve established a daily routine that includes early-morning exercise. It may not always be easy, but sticking to it brings me happiness and vitality. Pickleball is a significant part of my fitness regimen.
Strong Social Networks
Living in a great community has provided me with social connections and the opportunity to engage in activities like golf, pickleball, biking, and skiing.
I’m working on improving my stress management techniques to further enhance my overall health.
Purpose in Life
Sharing my experiences and routines with others is part of my daily life and adds meaning to my existence.
Due to some heart palpitations, I’ve been motivated to cut back on alcohol consumption.
While I love my family dearly, I recognize the importance of making an effort to spend quality time with them, despite their busy schedules.
I maintain an active lifestyle through daily exercise, compensating for occasional indulgences in processed foods (e.g. see my mention of Harvey’s just below…).
Limited Processed Foods
Although I occasionally treat myself to a Harvey’s hamburger, I generally avoid processed foods.
Sense of Belonging
The active social life in my community ensures that I rarely feel isolated or lonely.
While I don’t take daily naps, I acknowledge their potential benefits for reducing stress and improving overall health.
Strong Cultural and Family Traditions
We keep our family close through traditions like celebrating birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and summer pool parties.
So, how did you score / how do you feel about these 13 summary items? About the importance of purpose, in particular? Please let me know.
Thanks for reading,
PS. I hope we can get together on our 100th birthdays and share high fives!
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