Demographic surveys have identified specific areas, termed “Blue Zones“, in which high percentages of the inhabitants live far longer and well within the 90 – 110 year range. Researchers have long debated what is the controlling and driving force of the aging process, be it nature (dependent on our genes) or nurture (dependent on our environment). Studies with separated twins and the revelations from the Blue Zones, fortunately suggest that about 80% of our “march through the years” is determined by our environment and accompanying lifestyles. If this is so we are somewhat masters of our own destiny.
Clearly we all follow the pre-set aging progression. However our endurance, vitality and final longevity varies remarkably from individual to individual. Some centenarians, after experiencing a full rewarding life, still retain the zest for living; while others, far younger, muddled through a mundane life uninspired and have long since faded away.
A detailed analysis of Blue zone environments and lifestyles of their inhabitants may give us a number of clues to unraveling this fascinating mystery. Verifiable demographic research has identified the following geographic areas as authentic Blue zones: