How can we be healthier and live longer?

A question that I never asked myself when I was young and I was truly living for each day, running on adrenaline and using up my 9 lives….some people close to me might say I am still a little bit like that!

Funnily enough, however, the question and more importantly the answers, have become way, way more interesting as I get older.

People often seek answers from various sources: nutritionists; doctors; fitness experts; happiness gurus even. Health comes up in my coaching practice daily, as unsurprisingly, most people want more of it, both mentally and physically.

However not that many people know about a fascinating field of study that reveals valuable insights into health and longevity. It’s called ‘Blue Zones’.

I first found out about it from the book. It was given to me by the lovely Caroline Dakin on her Resilience Retreat. It is called ‘Blue Zones’, by New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner. Dan reveals the surprising secrets of the world’s happiest places and shows how we can all apply the lessons of true happiness to our lives. More recently I’ve been reminded of it again as Netflix just launched a 4 x 40 minute mini series, ‘Live to 100’ which in my opinion is well worth watching. Family friendly too!

What are Blue Zones?

Blue Zones are regions around the world where people live longer, healthier lives than anywhere else. These regions include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece and Loma Linda, California. In these places, it’s not uncommon to find centenarians, individuals who’ve crossed the 100-year mark,  both men and women, with vitality and a zest for life.

So, what’s the secret behind these longevity hotspots? It turns out that it’s about a combination of lifestyle factors, including diet, physical activity, social connections and having a sense of purpose.

The connection between Blue Zones and coaching

Here are my thoughts on the links between what Blue Zones has taught us about longevity, and the coaching profession:

  1. Holistic Well-being: Blue Zones teach us that longevity isn’t just about diet or exercise alone, it’s about holistic well-being. Coaching, too, takes a holistic approach, addressing not only career or personal goals but also mental, emotional, and social aspects of a person’s life.
  2. Purpose and Connection: One common thread in Blue Zones is a strong sense of purpose and social connection. Coaches help individuals discover their purpose and foster meaningful connections, which are vital for a fulfilling life.
  3. Sustainable Habits: Longevity isn’t achieved through crash diets or extreme workouts; it’s about sustainable habits. Coaches assist clients in setting realistic, sustainable goals and making lasting changes in their lives. And holding them accountable!
  4. Positive Mindset: In Blue Zones, people often have a different perspective on ageing. They simply see it as a natural part of life. Coaches can help individuals shift their mindset, embracing the ageing process and focusing on what they are grateful for, what is the gift or opportunity in any situation? Coaching also encourages us to truth-tell and truth seek. 

So, coaching can help you live longer, then?

Only joking – or am I?! Well let’s just think about this, where do Blue Zones and coaching intersect? It’s in the pursuit of a balanced, purposeful, and fulfilling life. Blue Zones reveals that longevity is not just about the quantity of years but the quality of those years.

Coaches guide individuals toward a healthier, more purpose-driven existence. They help clients set and achieve meaningful goals, build strong social connections, foster a sense of purpose, and develop sustainable habits that – yes – lead to a longer, more fulfilling life.

Blue Zones and coaching share a common theme: the pursuit of a life well-lived. Whether you’re inspired by the secrets of the Blue Zones or considering coaching for personal development, the ultimate goal is the same—to lead a long, healthy, and purposeful life. And in that pursuit, the possibilities are endless, no matter where you are on your journey.

🌍🌱 #BlueZones #CoachingForLife