There is a lot of talk about Blue Zones. These are places where people routinely live to be much older (living to 100!) and enjoy a higher quality of life. These zones are being studied to explore the various reasons why longevity is maximized. Is it their level of activity? Diet? Another reason?
We at Biohackr Health are focused on optimizing you — your health, your longevity, everything. And one consistent major finding has nothing to do with what you can get from a doctor or clinic.
COMMUNITY & PURPOSE
Community in the Blue Zones is strong and daily. They live in tight knit communities. They live near family, sometimes even living with multiple generations in the same house. They know their neighbors well, and function like extended family to them. They come together during the good times to celebrate and the bad times for support and help. Meals together, community gatherings, and religious gatherings are all important and regular facets of life.
- There are studies that show your mortality risk is lowered by 45% by true connections, like being a in a good romantic relationship, having friends, and being connected to your community. What is a true connection? They state a strong social tie “is the friend you know you can always call when things get really bad, even if they live far away,” (or it is 3 am). They make you feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe and strong.
- Saying hello to your neighbor raises your well-being. Yes, this has been studied. Americans’ well-being score increases proportionate to the number of neighbors you greet, up to six neighbors. This was part of the Gallup National Health and Well Being Index from June 2023, on a scale of 1-100. This also correlated to well-being in the other 5 studied areas: career well-being (you like what you do daily), social well-being (meaningful relationships in your life), financial well-being, physical well-being, and community well-being (you like where you live).
In groups who are trying to replicate Blue Zones, they focus on the “life radius,” the area close to home where you spend 90% of your lives. They want to build roads and transportation, parks, and public spaces. They want to use your local government to have ordinances that promote connection and healthy habits with close access to fresh food, bike lanes, and outdoor spaces to encourage activity and healthy habits. They try to increase places for us to congregate — schools, restaurants, faith-based organizations, and work places. They foster social networks for support.
So why does this community help longevity? It is theorized that this connection helps lower stress, which lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is your “fight or flight” hormone, which your body kicks into gear when you are in distress. Chronic stress is known to affect longevity, causing inflammation and weakening your immune system.
It is thought that positive relations can also strengthen your immune system. One study showed that people who were socially isolated were 45% more likely to get sick with a common cold.
A strong sense of purpose is also key. Those in the Blue Zones know why they are waking up each morning. This is not just a simple routine. They want to contribute to their world around them. They have a passion for life and their community. They feel needed and that their contributions are valued. It can be volunteering at a school, making meals for those who need them, doing physical activities.
Why does purpose help longevity? Again, it is thought to lower stress levels and cortisol. It is also thought to raise NAD levels (which wane with aging).
We at Biohackr Health want you to live better and longer. We want to be part of your community in your health journey. We can help you assess and supplement your NAD levels. We can help with weight loss to allow you to be more active. We can perform diagnostic testing to find out if you have inflammation, cardiac risk factors, deficiencies in micronutrients, or insulin resistance.
But that is not the whole story to maximize longevity. We are also here to educate you on those things you can do outside of Biohackr Health to optimize you.