Lifestyles Determine Who Lives Longest

According to a new National Geographic book, The Blue Zones, people live longer in the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California (a community of Seventh-Day Adventists); and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The lessons drawn from these cultures are the same as those I've preached to you for the last thirty years: eat more vegetables, exercise, minimize stress, don't be overweight, and avoid smoking. Your odds also increase if you are married, live in a rural area and are a woman.

In this 1960's, people in the Georgian Republic in Russia, Abkhazians in Pakistan and the Vilcabambas in Ecuador were reported to live long lives, but it turned out that they were among the world's greatest liars, rather than the world's oldest people. The centenarians cited in The Blue Zone have documented birth certificates.

A new study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (March 2008) found that people who exercise regularly live 12 years longer than non-exercisers, no matter where they live.


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