In 2005, Dan Buettner first talked publicly about what he calls Blue Zones in an issue of National Geographic. According to Buettner, these are geographic areas where people live longer on average than anywhere else in the world. Buettner didn't discover these zones; that credit goes to Michel Poulain and Gianni Pes, who published an article about the phenomenon in the Journal of Experimental Gerontology.
The three went on to expand on this idea and locate additional blue zones where people seemed to live longer, healthier lives. They didn't occur only in one area of the world; blue zones were discovered on multiple continents and even in America. By studying these disparate people, Buettner and others were able to pinpoint some likenesses that might contribute to increased average health, and cities and other groups have used this information to create Blue Zone projects to try to emulate the results.
But you don't have to be part of one of those communities to put some of these healthy tips into action. Seniors at Bethesda Gardens in Monument are in a prime position to integrate the following healthy living practices into their daily lives.
Engage in moderate physical activity on a daily basis. Seniors can walk the grounds via tended walking trails or participate in any number of activities or classes daily at Bethesda Gardens to ensure they stay as mobile as possible.
Reduce stress. Moving into an assisted living community is a first step to this healthy practice, because you remove a lot of the burden of keeping a house, cooking for yourself or worrying about security. Those things are handled by caring, friendly staff at Bethesda Gardens.
Moderate caloric intake. Eating the right amount of calories for your lifestyle and body is essential to good health at any age. Seniors who want help understanding and maintaining good nutrition can work with the staff at the assisted living community and rely on healthy, delicious meals in the dining areas.
Engage in spirituality. An on-site chaplain ensures seniors can seek spiritual advice when necessary, and you can also talk to other residents who might share your faith. The assisted living community hosts devotions and worship opportunities, and seniors can organize prayer groups or Bible studies in their apartments, the library or other common spaces.
Participation in social life. The Bethesda Gardens community provides a "village" in which every resident is invited to participate. Whether they're dining together, engaging in scheduled activities or simply conversing regularly in the halls, seniors at the Monument assisted living community are typically more socially active and less isolated than many individuals who live alone at home.
It seems that a good assisted living community is a Blue Zone Project, ensuring seniors have access to all the resources they require to put healthy living practices into action.