According to Dan Buettner, only 10 percent of how long we live is dictated by our genes, which means the other 90 percent is directly determined by our lifestyle. Dr. Oz talks with Dan, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest
, about secrets of the longest-lived cultures in the world.
While traveling the globe to explore and determine the most successful strategies for longevity, Dan discovered the Blue Zones, areas in the world where people live longer, fuller lives. "I think the average American, by adopting an optimal lifestyle, could get an extra decade out of their life [by making] small, subtle behavioral changes and setting up your environment so it's easy to do that," Dan says.
Dan shares the core practices of people who live the longest:
- Move naturally. Think about walking, gardening and playing with your kids to ensure daily activity. "Set up your environment so you are always bumping into the opportunity to move [around]," Dan says.
- Focus on having the right outlook. Know your sense of purpose, and schedule in times when you can downshift.
- Forget diets. Diets rarely work after six months, Dan says. Instead, he says the key to staying slim and living longer is eating wisely. He recommends a plant-based diet that minimizes (not eliminates) meat, eating fewer calories and consuming a glass or two of wine per day.
- Connect the right way. Investing in your family is huge, Dan says. "In all Blue Zones in the world, people put their loved ones first, and we think that is associated with more good years of life."
- Reconnect with religion. People who go to church live two to three years longer than people who don't, Dan says.
- Create your own culture of longevity. Pick out friends who have healthy lifestyles and put more energy into those friendships.