What is the Secret to Living to 100+? The Blue Zone

What if you could live to 100 and beyond? It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem. The number of supercentenarians is growing worldwide — in 2015 there were 451,000 worldwide, and by 2050 it is estimated there will be more than 3.7 million. Healthcare is getting better worldwide as is access to clean water and food. We also know more about how to treat our bodies well, with ample rest and exercise. But clearly this isn’t enough. How can we live to 100 and beyond?

Genetics plays an important role in how long you live, but it’s not the deciding factor. Some scientists estimate your genetics only accounts for about 15% of your chances of living to 100 and beyond. Other factors include things like your diet, getting regular exercise, and cultivating a sense of purpose and community.

There are some places around the world known as ‘Blue Zones’ where people routinely live longer and healthier lives. In places like Loma Linda, California, where the average inhabitant lives 10 years longer than the national average, it is thought the diet and emphasis on religion and community play a major role.

Learn more about Blue Zones from the infographic below. Maybe you will live a lot longer than you think!

Secrets to Living Longer
Source: Best Health Care Degrees

Constant Time Travel: Is There Such a Thing as “Right Now?”

When waking up from a dream I don’t want to be in, there is that pivotal moment right before my eyes open that I realize how wonderful life is.  Because I return to the comfort of reality.  Not trapped in an eerie sub-world with a grey and pink cloudy sky.

Similarly, I sometimes forget how old I am.  I often hesitate when people ask.  In the milliseconds before I answer, my mind travels through different ages I could be.  The most common:

“Am I seventy-five years old, with most of my life behind me?  Is my body aged and limited by decades of wear and tear?  Have I truly lived my life?  Have I been the giver I need to be?  Or have I lived my life selfishly?”

A millisecond later, the wheel has spun, and the arrow points to “28”.  I say out loud, “I am 28”.  Over a third of my life is finished, but that still leaves two thirds.

Like waking up from a dream, I realize I am still young, and I’m so grateful.  The problem is, despite hearing “hold on to your youth” and “enjoy this while you can” from older adults, especially starting once I graduated high school, I can’t do it.

I can’t appreciate “the now” anymore than I already am and have been.  In fact, I try to hold on to the present too strongly.  And then it becomes the recent past.  So then I’m holding on to the past and the present at the same time.  Almost to a fault.  It’s always been a part of who I am and how I think.

My senior year in high school for our “class prophecy” read aloud at Class Night, the day before graduation, my peers predicted that in 10 years I would still be living in Fort Payne, wishing I was in 1983.

I am a person known for my desire to want to freeze time.  Or ideally travel back to my younger years.  All my classmates were aware that even as a freshly turned 18 year-old, I romanticized about the 1980’s more than is humanly normal.

I feel time is going by too quickly and I’m not even 30 yet.  Like the forced moving screen on certain Super Mario levels, all I can do is keep moving forward.  And like love and money, there will never be enough time.