“I would argue that the biggest impact on how long you live is where you live,” says National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, who has studied the world’s longest-living people in “longevity hotspots” he calls Blue Zones. Among them: Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica.
So where in the U.S. can you live to a really ripe old age? You might be surprised.
“People in the Blue Zones don’t have better discipline or a greater sense of responsibility,” says Buettner. “They simply live in environments that make healthy lifestyle choices easier, or unavoidable.”
Some places are better than others at supporting the habits that stretch lifespans. When you can walk to do your errands, you’re more likely to be active than if you have to drive to the gym. Living in a community with plenty of neighborhood groups provides a buffer against loneliness, which can shave years off your life. You’re more apt to eat “clean and green” when farmers markets are nearer than junk-food joints.
What else helps: smart city design (think safe bike lanes, affordable housing), good health care, social opportunities and an economy that sees older workers, entrepreneurs and retirees as an asset, not a drain, says Caroline Servat, co-author of a new Milken Institute report on “age-forward” communities.
We’ve identified eight spots that will help you live long and prosper. (Editor’s note – We jumped to number 4, Naples! Read the entire article online https://parade.com/976846/paulaspencer/how-to-live-to-100/)
4. Naples, Florida
What’s not to love about Naples? The small town (population approximately 22,000) features high-quality health care and loads of leisure pursuits and good-for-you food—all set in a chill backdrop of Gulf of Mexico watersports, golf and sun.
The Naples-Immokalee–Marco Island area hit No. 1 in Gallup’s National Health and Well-Being Index for the past four years. Naples also often tops “healthiest eaters” lists; who needs sugar when you have white “sugar sand” beaches to stroll on?
An unusually high number of Paradise Coast residents say in surveys that they’re low in stress and rich in supportive, loving relationships. Having strong social ties—there are multiple retirement communities and recreation centers here—can extend lifespan as much as quitting smoking, one research review found.
Originally published by Parade Magazine: https://parade.com/976846/paulaspencer/how-to-live-to-100/