I think I found the Fountain of Youth in Sardinia.
Living a long, healthy life comes naturally to the people of Sardinia where it's perfectly normal to celebrate your 100th birthday. They seem to have figured out the keys to anti-aging on this Italian island.
Read on to learn their longevity tips.
Blue Zone Basics
There's a few places in the world considered Blue Zones which means they are some of the healthiest and most long-lived in the world. Scientists have been researching the centernarians in Ikara, Greece, Okinawa, Japan, Nicoya, Costa Rica and Sardinia, Italy to find out their secrets to a long and healthy life.
Get Moving for Anti-Aging
While the rest of us are crouched over a computer in a dimly lit cubicle, barely walking except from our car to our desk, the people of Sardinia are constantly in motion.
Traffic is rare. You're most likely to encounter a herd of goats than rushour traffic.
On this postcard-perfect Italian island, everyone walks, including the little nonna walking uphill to the piazza to chat with friends. Like most Europeans, the Sardinias get from point A to B without a car. And their strolls are mostly hilly.
Family Life for Longevity
Instead of shipping elderly parents to nursing homes, Sardinians value family, keeping the older generations at home. Active minds and bodies interacting with the family keeps everyone healthy. When I was in Sardinia, I met a woman named Betty Farigu who told me her Grandmother lived till the age of 101. “She had eight sons and one daughter,” said Farigu. “We are a big family.” Her Grandmother even baked bread into her golden years and never took medicine.
Betty told me it's common to have multi-generational families living together resulting in their high longevity numbers.
Face to Face
In our modern lives we've lost the art of human connection. Everything is digital. But in Sardinia, face-to-face encounters are still the norm. “People are happy with what they have,” said Farigu. “They will open their homes and welcome you.”
You are What you Eat
Scarfing down McDonalds in the car or on a 15 minute lunch break is a recipe for disaster. Sardinians linger over healthy meals produced with food mostly grown on the island. “My grandmother used to make her own bread up until she was 101,” said Farigu. “She never took medicine or went to the hospital.”
Sense of Purpose
While wandering Calgiari, I came across a religious procession. A large gathering of worshippers dressed in traditonal garb followed a statue of the Virgin Mary floating through the narrow streets. I felt a sense of calm and community wash over me. The feeling of a greater good has been shown to improve health according to the Blue Zone Project.
Healthy Lifestyle Leads to Longevity
The urge to move to Sardinia has infiltrated my mind now. The temptation to throw away the North American life of road rage, too little exercise, not enough impromptu walking, sitting all day and eating genetically-modified food and replace all that with a farm life in the Sardinian hills with a bunch of goats sounds very appealing. Would you move if it meant adding years to your life?