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Blue Zones: A Dynamic Approach to Living Longer

featurette-8-lgPeople live longer, healthier and even happier in places called “Blue Zones,” and Beacon Health System wants to transform South Bend and Elkhart into such places.  Dan Buettner, National Geographic writer and founder of Blue Zones, has spent years traveling the globe studying the areas where people live the longest and consider themselves the happiest. Called Blue Zones®, the people in these areas reach age 100 more than anywhere else.  No secret drug, chemical or diet exists for reaching your 100th birthday, says Buettner. People living in these places around the world have key things in common:

  • A largely plant-based diet
  • Low-intensity, regular activity like walking and gardening
  • A sense of purpose and belonging found through a faith-based or volunteer organization
  • A sense of connection through relationships with family and friends

At the request of Beacon leadership, Buettner spoke with business and community leaders on March 4 in South Bend about developing a Blue Zone, starting with the City of South Bend. The Blue Zones approach is in harmony with Beacon’s innovation legacy of implementing programs that transform community health.  A Blue Zones Community™ allows residents, schools, employers, restaurants, grocery stores and community leaders to work together on policies and programs that improve the health and well-being.  Right now, there are a handful of U.S. cities following the Blue Zones approach. And it’s possible our community could be next! Stay tuned.

Are you interested in reading Buettner’s bestselling book, The Blue Zones? Be among the first 25 people to email gro.metsyshtlaehnocaeb@maebeht and you will be entered in a drawing for 10 free books.