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Highlights of "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones" a Netflix series.

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Hi! I'm coach Corry and this is my first blog post for GcoFit Personal Training. This blog is a health and wellness resource for my clients and the public. I'll be sharing my

knowledge as a NASM CPT, CES, and CNC, and someone who has worked 1-on-1 in

person with hundreds of clients.


The first episode of "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones" follows author and bicycle world record holder Dan Buettner as he chats with several centenarians living on the island of Okinawa, Japan. The show can be found on Netflix, and I highly recommend

trying it if you are curious about longevity. I wanted to write about this show because I am very interested in prolonging my life and staying very healthy throughout my entire life.


We all want to live as long as possible. Maybe even to 100 years old or more, like the

centenarians of the world. The question however is; Do we want to live a long time if we

aren’t healthy and happy? In the U.S. today, over 70% of the population is obese. Since

the 1980's, the average caloric intake for an individual in the U.S. has increased from

2,000 calories to 4,000. The average duration of daily exercise for an individual in the

U.S. is less than an hour, while leisure time accounts for nearly 5 hours of the day.


In Okinawa, Japan things are much different. They have formed habits that have allowed their population to live long, healthy lives. The diet of your average islander is made up of nutrient dense foods. Before each meal they have a saying, "Hara hachi bun me." It translates roughly to eat only 80% of your plate. Once you feel 8/10ths full, stop eating and go about your day. They usually consume around 2000 calories a day, mostly from vegetables and soy based foods like Tofu. Their diet includes a healthy complex

carbohydrate, a purple sweet potato grown locally called Murasaki. Murasaki sweet

potatoes contain four times your daily value of vitamin A, half your daily value of Vitamin

C and manganese, vitamin B6, copper, and iron. Murasaki sweet potatoes are packed

full of dietary fiber and potassium. Foods, such as Tofu and Murasaki sweet potatoes,

are why the Okinawans have much lower rates of heart disease and brain disease than

Americans.

The people of Okinawa are conscientious about how they spend their time. They don’t sit and watch television like many Americans. They garden for 1-2 hours a day, walk to the markets or work in a market stand, sew, cook, etc. Most of the centenarians

Buettner spoke with had limited furniture in their homes. When they sat down, they sat

on the floor. This resulted in them raising up from the floor, utilizing a large range of

motion, approximately 30 times a day. One of the main causes of death for people over

70 in the U.S. is falling. This could be drastically reduced if people sat down and stood up more on a daily basis. Sitting for extended periods of time causes our muscles to deteriorate and we lose flexibility.


One of the most important indicators the Okinawa centenarians gave for living a long

time was being happy and having the support of social groups and their community.

They participate in social groups called Moai. Moai is a small group that meets to have

chats, dance, sing, laugh, etc. Everyone contributes money for a group pool to help

members who are going through tough times. Loneliness and social disengagement are major issues for many Americans. This lack of social stimulation and support

can contribute to apathy and a lack of motivation. We drive more than people in other

places, and we have more access to processed convenience foods.


So get out there and MOVE! Eat less processed foods, and try to find social outlets. Practice a healthy diet and a consistent movement routine like the Okinawans so you can enjoy every moment on this Earth.


Thanks for taking time to read this!

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