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    How can Modern Age help you replicate Blue Zone living?

      |  Nov 15, 2023

    What is a Blue Zone?

    First coined in 2004 by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow and journalist, Blue Zones refer to five locations across the world where residents live on average longer and healthier lives than anywhere else on the planet. These zones are: Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in the United States. 

    Nearly 20 years have passed since Buettner and his team first identified the Blue Zones, but the regions are still a treasure trove for secrets of longevity. Numerous books, studies, and movies have been created to break down what exactly makes Blue Zone residents live longer, and Netflix even created a documentary about the regions in 2023. 

    In this article, we’ll break down the common traits of Blue Zone residents, and explain how treatments at Modern Age can help you adapt these traits in your own life — no passport required.

    What are common traits of Blue Zone residents?


    Residents of Blue Zones follow a majority plant based diet, with 95% of their food consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. As a whole, they consume very little dairy, sugar, and processed foods. When they do consume meat, they prefer lean cuts of chicken and fish. 

    This dietary balance leads to reduced levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as the health benefits of vitamin rich food and omega-3 fatty acids. How much food they consume also plays a role in their longer than average lifespans. In Okinawa, residents call this Hara hachi bu, a reminder to stop eating when they feel 80% full. 


    Physical activity is a well known key to longevity, but Blue Zone residents don’t rely on expensive gym memberships or fitness classics to stay active. Instead, they incorporate movement into their everyday life and routines, whether that’s a daily walk, gardening, or a swim in the ocean. They never stay still for long – one study showed that Blue Zone residents get moving every 20 minutes, and reach most of their destinations by foot.


    A common trait of Blue Zone residents are their strong social connections that last throughout their life. Lack of social connections can lead to anxiety and depression, along with physical symptoms like chronic illness, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes. Recent studies have also found that social interaction can strengthen our immune system. Overall, social engagement reduces levels of stress in our lives, provides support systems for the challenges of aging, and is associated with a longer life.


    You’ll notice that there are no large, bustling cities — places where people work long hours or rarely take breaks — on the list of Blue Zones. That’s because mindfulness and relaxation are core to longevity. For some Blue Zone residents, this looks like meditation, while others find comfort in regular prayer, take mid-day naps, or relax with friends during happy hour. 


    Having a sense of purpose and staying mentally engaged throughout life is a common theme in Blue Zones. According to Buettner, having and maintaining this purpose is worth 7 years of longevity. Your purpose doesn’t have to be world changing, it can be as simple as volunteering on a weekly basis or expressing yourself through art. 

    Move into the Blue Zone 

    We can all benefit from changing our lifestyle to be more like the Blue Zones centenarians, but it’s important to make the changes in a way that suits your individual needs. Modern Age’s Aging Wellness Assessment offers a complete picture of your health so you can start making changes that are right for you. 

    For example, say you have a high powered, high stress job. Although you implement mindfulness practices, your work, busy family life, and endless social engagements might create symptoms of stress on your body. Modern Age patients who have high levels of stress often get regular IV Therapy with Vitamin C and Glutathione to reduce stress symptoms.

    Your ideal diet is also specific to your life and your body’s unique needs. For example, the Okinawa diet contains over 60% sweet potatoes, but that doesn’t mean you need to toss your sourdough loaf for a bag of yams. The AWA can help you identify nutritional gaps in your existing diet that can be improved by diet swaps or supplements.

    Cognitive health is key to maintaining your life’s purpose and social connections. As part of the Aging Wellness Assessment, our cognitive assessment unveils the factors behind symptoms of cognitive decline including brain fog and memory loss. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you’ll work with a Modern Age clinician to improve brain health with treatments ranging from Creatine supplements to Neurofeedback Therapy.