The Secret (Gardens) of Long Life
In 2012, Dan Buettner, together with National Geographic, published research on communities with the oldest individuals on the planet, many of them living well past 100 years of age2. The researchers studied people from 5 places — Okinawa, Sardinia, Greece, America, and Costa Rica — dubbed “Blue Zones.”
Their findings? The research highlighted 9 behaviors that people in these long-lived communities shared, calling them the Blue Zone Power 92.
Many of these behaviors were exactly what you’d expect: People living in Blue Zones ate healthy, led relatively active lifestyles, and drank alcohol in moderation. These findings were in line with a 30-year long Harvard study that looked at the connection between diet and morbidity.
The Harvard study recommended 5 habits that can lengthen a person’s life3:
- Eat healthy.
- Exercise daily.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Drink moderately.
- Don’t smoke.
What’s interesting is that Buettner’s Blue Zones study singled out gardening as a contributing factor for many of the communities’ healthy habits. For example, many of the people in these communities led active lifestyles because they were gardening.