Going for Blue; the story of 'Blue Zones'
The Blue Zones were first described the a journalist called Dan Buettner, as he tried to unlock the secret of creating healthy places to live. It's no surprise that it is helping communities around the world to create longer, more active lives for their families and friends. Blue Zones focus on 3 elements: a healthy diet, getting active, and social engagement.
What is a Blue Zone?
Blue Zones are areas where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else on the planet. They are areas where Mediterranean diets and other healthy and sustainable lifestyles have been practised for centuries. One of the reasons these places have become known as Blue Zones is because they have the highest concentration of people who live to be over 100 in the world.
What are the characteristics of a blue zone?
Several characteristics set Blue Zones apart from other communities. One of the characteristics is that they have a sense of community, so they have a high sense of belonging. With strong community involvement; it's not just a matter of taking care of yourself, it's also a matter of taking care of those around you.
Another attribute of a Blue Zone is that people keep physically active throughout their lives. By making more sustainable choices and having a more active lifestyle, people have an overall feeling of happiness about living in these areas.
Where are some of the world's blue zones?
Among the most famous Blue Zones are towns in Sardinia, Italy and Okinawa, Japan. The Blue Zones website showcases many Blue Zone locations and the attributes which contribute to the people in these communities living healthier, more fulfilled lives.
What Blue Zones can do for Aberfeldy.
Our 'Aberfeldy: Healthiest Town in Scotland' community project aims to adopt many of the characteristics of a Blue Zone to improve people's physical health, mental health and enjoyment for life. There are several projects designed to improve fitness, from yoga to walking and a number of ways you could incorporate healthier meal choices into your lifestyle, such as discounted ingredients for Aberfeldy's 'recipe of the month' at the local Co-op.
There are many ways to get involved, from participating in community activities to volunteering. If you'd like more information about the project visit our website. Or, to find out more about Blue Zones, visit the Blue Zones website.
Written by Louise Gregson-Williams, edited by Callum Leese