Dan Buettner is an explorer, National Geographic Fellow, award-winning journalist and producer, and a New York Times bestselling author. He discovered the five places in the world—dubbed Blue Zones—where people live the longest, healthiest lives. He is the founder of Blue Zones , a company that puts the world’s best practices in longevity and well-being to work in people’s lives. He has written a number of NY Times best-selling books with his latest one titled: “The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100”.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
- Setting world records on a bike was a vehicle to fund his addiction to fascinations. The work needed to set these world records provided the tools needed for future scientific exploration – you have to develop a lot of patience, you have to be strategically prepared, and you have to know how to network with experts across various fields.
- He has discovered and studied hot spots of longevity around the world where people are statistically the longest lived. He coined these regions Blue Zones. Blue Zones must meet at least one of three criteria: high middle aged mortality (chances of reaching the age of 90), low chronic disease, or high centenarian rate.
- Health behaviors are known to be measurably contagious.
- Going to the gym a few times a week isn’t enough to offset the damage from a sedentary lifestyle. It’s important to move around naturally throughout the day.
- People who know their sense of purpose live around 8 years longer than people who are rudderless.
- Other important practices found in Blue Zones include sacred everyday rituals to relieve the stresses of everyday life; a diet composed primarily of plant based whole foods; a couple glasses of wine a day; breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper; putting family first; belonging to a faith; strong social support systems.
- Loneliness is as harmful for your health as a bad smoking habit.
- What produces health is not a function of behavioral modification but rather a function of the environment in which we live.
- “Excellence is having a very clear idea of what your personal passions are, what you’re good at, and having an outlet to do it every day for most of your life.”