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© Photo by: Chiara Ferragni ( @chiaraferragni )

Wouldn't you love to live in Sardinia, Italy, under the blazing sun and immersed in the bluest water in the world? Well it turns out we would all love it! Sardinia is one of the 5 places on the globe where the oldest people on the planet live. Explorer and author Dan Buettner discovered, together with National Geographic, that in these regions, also known as “blue zones” in English, there are a surprising number of inhabitants who are over 100 years old; and that the rates of coronary heart disease, cancer and other common pathologies of old age are significantly lower than those of the rest of the world. Okinawa (Japan), the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica), the Island of Ikaria (Greece) and Loma Linda (California) are the other four paradises of longevity.

The 5 blue zones may be spread across different countries and continents, each with different cultures and traditions, however, they all share certain healthy habits that make them coincide in the same lagom lifestyle - balanced and happy. According to Buettner and the rest of his team of demographers and researchers, there are 9 pillars that centenarians incorporate into their daily lives to achieve longevity. These include having a defined life purpose, excellent family and interpersonal relationships, staying active during the day, taking time to de-stress, and establishing a healthy diet.

From this, and with the intention of bringing you a little closer to the lifestyle of the oldest people in the world, we have created the 5 DAY BLUE ZONE LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:

DAY 1- Natural movement: The first challenge will be to perform all your duties and tasks for the day without the help of technology or machinery of any kind (including your car).

A fundamental part of the “blue zone” lifestyle is moving your body naturally during the day. That is, walking to your destination, doing home gardening, doing manual labor, and other forms of incidental physical activity. The oldest people in the world are not known for joining gyms or being CrossFit experts; on the contrary, they live in environments that force them to exercise routinely, but without realizing it or planning it.

DAY 2 - Define your Ikigai : Take 30 minutes out of your day to complete this exercise , which will help you take the first step towards a life with purpose.

Knowing the reason why you wake up every day is one of the key secrets to achieving a full and happy life. This, according to Okinawans, is called having “ikigai,” and it can add an extra seven years to your life expectancy. If you want to know more about this topic, we suggest the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Long and Happy Life , written by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles; It is a 10/10 and ideal for anyone looking to give meaning and passion to their daily lives.

DAY 3 - Vegan for a day: Do not consume any type of meat for 24 hours, fill your body with plant-based foods and avoid any animal-derived products (egg, milk, cheese, etc.) if possible. Also, don't eat more than your body asks for.

Grains and legumes (beans, lentils, etc.) are the center of the diets of centenarians. Next come vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Meat is consumed a maximum of 5 times a month and the portions are small. Similarly, the oldest people in the world apply the 80% rule: they stop eating when they are 80% full, feeling completely satisfied, but without stomach heaviness.

DAY 4 - Relieve stress: Incorporate a relaxation technique into your daily routine. It should be something that you don't usually do frequently, but that can help you control stress levels. That is, if you take a nap every day to relax, instead of doing that (or in addition) today you are going to meditate, do yoga, or you can even have a glass of wine with friends.

Like the rest of the world, people living in blue zones are also prone to experiencing stress. However, they have developed certain rituals to tone down the intensity of their daily routines. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians nap, and Sardinians enjoy happy hour.

DAY 5 - Strengthen your social and family circle: Dedicate a part of your day to getting in touch with your friends and family. Ask them how they are, be empathetic with them, and remind them how much they mean to you. At the same time, analyze your closest relationships and identify those that do not generate happiness for you, and that, on the contrary, provoke negative emotions. It is important to recognize that some interpersonal relationships can be toxic, and it is best to keep them out of your life as much as possible.

Having close, strong family connections (with spouses, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren) is common among centenarians in blue zones. Likewise, the oldest people in the world choose to associate with people who support healthy behaviors, who infect them with happiness, and not with harmful habits. In this way, they maintain healthy friendships and strong social circles.