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9 Best-Proven Mind And Body Secrets To Live Longer, Says Science

Add them to your own daily routine to promote living longer—and better.

Living a long, happy life is something many people strive for. Each day can bring unexpected happiness along the path of life, as well as detours and roadblocks. You can't foresee the future—especially not how you will age—but you can practice self-care in the very best of ways. There are many habits you can adapt to routinely feed your mind and nourish your body, keeping it young and healthy. After all, a wholesome lifestyle is a happy one, and it will help you live the long, strong life you deserve. The key to living longer means living better. To do so, you need to learn some mind and body secrets to living longer.

These secrets will step up the self-love you give both your body and your mind. You may think this is all about exercising each day, getting lots of sleep, absorbing sunshine, taking your vitamin supplements, eating nuts and seeds, doing yoga, or even frequent sauna bathing. While all of these practices have proven to be quite advantageous to promoting good health and longevity, there is so much more to life.

First off, where you live and how you live your life are the two quintessential ingredients to longevity. According to astounding research published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, there are 5 spots throughout the world where a group of anthropologists, scientists, and demographers discovered that the people live for over 100 years. You heard that right! These "fountain of youth" locations even have a name—they are called "Blue Zones."

Dan Buettner, CEO of Blue Zones LLC, and his group identified Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, CA, USA; and Nicoya, Costa Rica to have the largest percentage of centenarians (people who are 100 years of age) thriving, and living life to its fullest. The 5 youthful spots in the world were discovered by way of statistics, birth certificates, epidemiological data, and additional information. Interestingly, it was found in these so-called Blue Zones that individuals live to 100 years of age 10 times higher than individuals living in the whole United States.

There are 9 common factors the research team discovered in all of the individuals living in these areas, which are referred to as the "Power 9" factors. Interestingly, the Danish Twin Study found that only 20% of an average individual's life expectancy has to do with their genes, and the remaining 80% has everything to do with their lifestyle. In the Blue Zone, many individuals are able to live into their 90s, some without a chronic disease of any sort. Pretty remarkable, right? Let's take a look at the Power 9 factors which you can add to your own daily routine to promote living longer and better. And next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

1

You need a "plan de vida"—aka a purpose for each day

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Centenarians in the Blue Zone have a sense of purpose—a reason to as to why they wake up every day. There are even names for it. "Plan de vida" is used in Nicoya, Costa Rica and Ikigagi, Japan. If you are employed, you're clearly busy each day. But if you don't work, it's important to commit your time to some feel-good things that you are responsible for. Take up some new hobbies, sign up for an enriching class, or volunteer some of your time to your local community. If you don't have a furry friend like a dog or cat in your life, consider welcoming one into your home. Create some goals for yourself, and get to it! It's important for your body and soul to feel accountable, because what you are doing totally matters.

Related: The Easiest Way to Live Longer, Says Science

2

Kick back and have some wine

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All of those studied (with the exception of Adventists) routinely have 1 or 2 glasses of alcohol each day, most often wine. So, you should enjoy some vino with your meal, or better yet, plan a weekly happy hour or two to look forward to with your family and friends.

3

Make healthy eating choices

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Most centenarians studied had several dietary staples in common, including lots of lentils, black beans, and fava beans. They eat meat, and the most common is pork, which they enjoy just 5 times each month, and only 3 or 4 ounces for a serving. This may mean planning a big overhaul on your go-to meals, but focus on the potential prize—a healthy you and a longer life.

4

Portion control is major

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All of these people only eat a light meal for a late lunch or early dinner, and not both. This will probably be a major change in lifestyle, but one with pretty great rewards, which this study reveals. It's definitely worth eliminating that late-night snacking or pizza order, are we right?

5

Know when to downshift

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Everyone has stress, including the centenarians who were observed. The difference is how effectively each of them deals with their worry or anxiety. The study found they all take time to decompress in some way.  The Sardinians enjoy happy hour. Others take comfort with prayer or napping. In Japan, it is common to reduce tension by remembering their ancestors. Consider what method will work best for you. As long as the stress reliever is something you will stick with consistently, go for it.

6

Get outside, walk, and start doing more things

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The centurions are in surroundings that encourage them to move naturally. Gardens are quite popular, and they do not depend on modern conveniences to do chores outside or inside. Try out different ways you can improve some of your own daily tasks, it can be a fun challenge to switch things up! If you can plant a garden, you will save a ton of money at the food store and have healthy, home-grown vegetables readily available to prepare and enjoy.

Related: The Best Supplements for Living Longer, Say Experts

7

Have faith, whatever that may look like for you personally

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Just about every centenarian has their own religious community. The study indicated that participating in a religious service once each week will increase life expectancy by 4 to 14 years. If you practice a religion that you let slip away, maybe bring it back. Otherwise, explore your options, and find something that may work best for you.

8

Put your family first

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Those observed strongly believe their family is the priority. Elderly parents and even grandparents are always close by, if not living in the home, which proves to lowering mortality rates and disease of children, too. They are also married, potentially increasing life by 3 years. Children are given much love and dedication, which promotes caring for elderly parents in the future.

Even though families are spread out now more than ever before, it's never been easier to reach out to loved ones via texting, FaceTiming, Zooming, and such. Be sure to plan out time in your day and week to spend time with your family and loved ones, however it can happen.

9

Surround yourself with supportive, salubrious friends

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Another common denominator is surrounding themselves with friends who are on the same page as far as practicing good, wholesome decisions. The Okinawans believe in moais, which is 5 besties for life. The supportive friendships foster healthy decisions and actions.

Choose the friends you hang out with wisely, because time is too precious. Consider doing a thorough cleanse and cut yourself off from any toxic relationships you may have, and never hesitate to welcome new ones. Life is too short, and we're trying to extend it here!

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more
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