Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Review: Blue Zones

It's been a while since I've written up a book review but that's not because I'm not reading! My latest read is a non-fiction, "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" by Dan Buettner. I first heard the author on NPR then again when he was featured on Oprah, both times talking about his book and the ways we all can maximize our life span. I had it in my Amazon shopping cart for the longest time then finally ordered it for my Kindle. I plowed through it pretty quickly since it was fascinating!

When talking about this book, it helps to know what Blue Zones are. Longevity researchers coined the term while looking for areas where a larger percentage of people live to older ages than is statistically expected. One prominent researcher circled possible areas on a map with a blue marker, thus the term Blue Zone. (I thought it had to do with blue hair as a reference to older women who dye their hair blue, or something, but no.) ;) So they found four blue zones to focus on for the book, and the author went with teams of researchers to each place to find out why and how these folks lived so long, and for the most part with great vitality to the very end. He found many, many things they do naturally that we can incorporate into our lives to maximize our own good years.

It's the PERFECT book for the semi-health nut I'm turning into lately. It reinforces some of the good practices I've developed since losing weight and even has a few new things to try that you wouldn't automatically think of. I have The Eldest reading it for science and she went on a bike ride with us yesterday with no grumbling, so it's making an impact with her as well. An example of one easy change I've incorporated is putting a nut bowl out in the house. That's nuts in the shell, thank you, which makes portion control more natural. It's easy to over-do it when you can grab a handful and throw them in your mouth but this way you have to get them out of the shell first. The kids enjoy it although there's more sweeping up to do!

As a mom, it's so important to me to set a healthy example for my kids. I want them to live long, healthy, happy lives and taking care of their bodies is an important component to achieving those goals. I hope everyone will read this book and the entire world will go on a health kick! :)

PS: Maybe we can all aspire to be like this guy.

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