How To Live To 100 And Beyond: Tips From The Healthiest Places On Earth

Did you know that, overwhelmingly, the people who live the longest tend to live in just five places in the world? These places, more commonly known as “Blue Zones” are characterized by their incredibly dense populations of healthy centenarians. While the population at large typically tops out at about 78 years, it’s frequently not uncommon for those living in Blue Zones to live long into their triple digits. 

The most interesting thing about these Blue Zones is that, over the past few years of research, scientists have become convinced that the keys to living to 100 might not be that difficult to achieve, even for those of us getting up there in age. In fact, looking at the centenarian populations of Okinawa, Sardinia, Nicoya, Icaria, and Loma, longevity seems to really boil down to improving only a handful of things in your daily life to take advantage of their benefits.  

Let’s take a look at five things that researchers point to for contributing to your longevity. 

Having Purpose 

Whether you call it ikagi, plan de vida or simply your life’s purpose, research tells us that older people who have something to do live longer. Researchers believe that having a reason to get out of bed in the morning can add up to seven years to your life expectancy! Even for aging adults or anyone suffering the effects of aging, finding a purpose can lead to other positive changes that can help you to improve your longevity. 

Photo Credit: Health GAINS

Breathe Deep and Relax 

Stress is one of the primary causes of age-related issues many adults encounter as they get older. It’s been linked to chronic inflammation and is closely associated with every chronic disease which is why it’s so important to have routines that help shed stress.  

In Okinawa, they make celebrating ancestors a regular part of their day. Sardinians practically invented the happy hour. What the world’s longest-lived people have in common is that they all have rituals that normalize stress relief. Stress hampers our ability to think clearly and function effectively—those two cons alone can disrupt a person’s emotional and physical health. Research shows that working to improve stress levels, either through meditation or with medical support should be a consideration for anyone wanting to live longer, better. 

Get Moving 

Another revelation for researchers is that longevity isn’t necessarily tied to hours spent in a gym. Blue Zoners live in communities that have a propensity for doing. Researchers examining longevity discovered that the key to a long life isn’t just in pumping iron or running marathons. These centenarians live in environments that force them to constantly be in motion without thinking about it. They choose analog activities over mechanical conveniences, so think gardening vs. riding mowers or walking rather than driving between destinations.

Of course, if you’ve spent a lot of time in front of a computer screen over the past few years, getting moving again can be a dicey proposition. Before tackling a HIIT regimen, maybe consider checking in with a doctor who may be able to suggest some effective therapies for improving your body’s ability to grow and heal itself naturally. 

Know How to Say “No” (to seconds) 

Although separated by thousands, sometimes even tens of thousands of miles, many Blue Zoners share several key characteristics. Another one of them is their tendency not to overeat. In Japanese, they refer to this as hara hachi bu, or the idea of eating until full. In practice, this typically means stopping a meal when you feel yourself at about 80% capacity. Training your brain to think this way takes a little effort, but managing your healthy intake of food can absolutely lead to positive benefits like avoiding (or reducing) middle-aged weight gain, obesity, and helping to manage chronic diseases. For those who struggle with this, medically supervised help managing appetite might be worth investigating. 

Catch Some Z’s 

We all know sleep is important for our health and wellness, but few of us understand how pivotal good sleep can be. Ongoing problems with sleep have been linked through countless studies to increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, hormone imbalance, kidney disease, and stroke. Another example of the effect lack of sleep can have on our health is poor regeneration and repair of blood vessels throughout the body. In fact, most men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, or ED, do so because of poor blood circulation 


The simple truth is that nearly everyone has the capacity to live longer, more fulfilling lives. And thanks to modern medicine, that time can be enjoyed largely without the risk of major illness or disease. Adopting even a few of the Blue Zone lifestyle changes can add years to your life. And with the help of modern medicine and science, you can enjoy them. 

Getting older doesn’t have to be a challenge, it can be a celebration. At HealthGAINS, we are built around facilitating lasting, fundamental changes. We understand that getting older can be a confusing and frustrating experience and that it can seem overwhelming at times trying to discern what healthy actually is at your age.  

 Photo Credit: HealthGAINS

We take all the work out of getting healthy. Through the prescription of results-based therapies and innovative treatments, we’ve developed a reputation for delivering Blue Zone results to our clients. And regardless if your preference is to do your appointments at our office, in your home, over the computer, or a mix of all three, our team works to make the entire process as easy and as seamless as possible. 

Call us today at 866-530-3240 to speak to one of our knowledgeable wellness advisors who can help answer any questions you might have and can even help you get started right over the phone.  

Written in partnership with HealthGains