What are Blue Zone Retreats?

The idea of blue zones developed out of the demographic work defined in the Journal of Experimental Gerontology by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain. They identified Sardinia as an area with the largest concentration of male centenarians in the world. They highlighted villages in Sardinia which had extreme longevity and started calling them blue zones. Building on that demographic work, Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder, a National Geographic Fellow and author of multiple New York Times, bestselling books found other longevity hotspots around the world and dubbed them blue zones as well. He noticed five other places in the world where people live the longest, and where they are the healthiest.: 

  1. Okinawa, Japan
  2. Sardinia, Italy
  3. Nicoya, Costa Rica
  4. Ikaria, Greece
  5. Loma Linda, California

Dan and the team of demographers and researchers found that all blue zones areas share nine specific lifestyle habits. They termed these nine habits as the Power 9®. These nine habits are described below:

  • Move Naturally: Blue zone centenarians dwell in environments that push them to perform moving naturally or simple daily physical activity. 
  • Purpose: Waking up in the morning knowing your purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy. 
  • Down Shift: Stress leads to chronic inflammation and is associated with every major age-related disease. The world’s longest-lived people focus on routines that help shed stress and cultivate calmer mindsets. 
  • 80% Rule: The practice of stopping eating when eighty per cent full. 
  • Plant Slant: The best-of-the-best longevity foods are leafy greens such as spinach, kale, beet and turnip tops, chard, and collards. Combined with seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans, these healthy options dominate blue zone meals all year long. 
  • Wine At 5: Whether it’s a toast at sunset or a get-together with friends for happy hour, it has been found that moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers, especially if they share those drinks with the company. 
  • Belong: Attending faith-based services four times per month—no matter the denomination—adds up to fourteen years of life expectancy. 
  • Loved One's First: Those who have become centenarians almost always put their family first by keeping ageing parents and grandparents nearby, committing to a life partner, and investing in their children. 
  • Right Tribe: The world’s longest-lived people choose, or were born into social circles that support healthy behaviour.

Blue Zones® Retreats are all about how the lifestyle and the environment of the longest-living human beings in the world can be adopted. To optimise their daily lives and ecosystems, Blue Zones® they collaborate with families, neighbourhoods, and campuses so that healthy decisions are easier to make. Their innovative strategy has improved the health and well-being of large populations and whole cities with great success.

The Borgo Egnazia BLUE ZONES retreats feature evidence-based solutions from the world’s oldest people delivered in a practical format that makes healthy living easy and sustainable. Activities include health-conscious meals and cooking classes based on the Blue Zones findings; movement sessions in the Puglian countryside; innovative workshops; and unique evening events. Staff at Borgo Egnazia have been extensively trained in these evidence-based principles so that participants can be immersed in the traditions of the world’s longest-living cultures. 

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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