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Life Enriching Communities Blog

Blue Zones and the Secret to Longevity

Posted by Twin Towers on May 9, 2019

man and woman in park standing with bikeWhat is the secret to longevity? When researcher, Dan Buettner, set out to discover it and found common threads among populations across the globe. He coined the term “Blue Zones” to identify these regions and has been sharing his findings since 2005.

Twin Towers is not a designated Blue Zone but we have so many 80, 90 and 100+ year old residents on campus that it made us wonder if our wellness philosophy created an environment that mimicked characteristics of these zones.  

We took a look and here’s what we found:

Six Blue Zone Qualities and How We Compare

1. Move Naturally

In the Blue Zones:

Some of the longest-lived people in the world take an approach to fitness that doesn’t include a gym membership but rather a daily routine that calls for them to keep moving. By doing without modern conveniences, pursuing gardening, or simply using their legs as their main mode of transportation - these individuals are always in motion.

At Twin Towers:

The easily accessible campus allows residents to build activity right into their daily life. Residents walk to classes and events, tend their own or our community garden, and take advantage of our 140-acre campus full of walking paths and parks.

We also offer wellness programs that promote movement, both in the water and on land. Balance classes, Yoga and Tai Chi, and aquatic circuits are just a few of the ways that residents keep moving and feeling strong.

2. Purpose

In the Blue Zones:

Residents of these communities have shared that having a sense of purpose runs deep. Research has further examined the relationship between this attribute and life expectancy and found that it can lead to an additional 7 years.

At Twin Towers:

Having a sense of purpose is widely accepted in our community as a part of wellness. Finding the moments and experiences that make you feel motivated are plentiful at Twin Towers.

Some residents join committees and work groups that already exist. Others follow a passion or interest and create something new with like-minded people. No matter how big or small the involvement, when the sense of purpose resonants strongly it continues to attract new individuals to our community.

3. Down Shift

In the Blue Zones:

Buettner doesn’t make claims that the inhabitants of these regions are living without any stress. What he does note is that these people have developed routines that allow them to lessen its impact on their lives. They do things like pray, nap, and observe happy hour regularly.

At Twin Towers:

Stress can manifest differently for everyone and combating it may take a different approach for each of us. It’s a priority of our community to provide opportunities to address stress and promote wellness- not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Residents take advantage of classes, attend educational and support groups, enjoy social gatherings, and/or seek guidance from one of our chaplains.

4. Belong

In the Blue Zones:

Of the individuals that were interviewed during the research, 98% stated that they belonged to a faith-based community. This suggests a strong correlation between participating in faith-based worship and longer life spans.

At Twin Towers:

Twin Towers is a faith-based community with an affiliation to the Methodist Church, but is accepting of all faiths and prides itself on inclusivity. Religious services offered include Catholic Mass and Ecumenical Worship and there are also full-time chaplains to provide support to residents and staff.

5. Loved Ones First

In the Blue Zones:

The study uncovered that investment in spending time with family had effects such as increased life expectancy and lower disease rates. Keeping family close, physically and emotionally paid off not only for the centenarians but their children as well.

At Twin Towers:

Caring for aging parents has become increasingly difficult for families over the generations. While it may be preferable to live with adult children, in theory, many residents are confident in their knowledge that it is much more difficult in practice. The complexity of work and travel schedules can make this approach complicated.

What Twin Towers offers is a continuum of care all on one campus. Therefore so that residents and their families can rest easy in knowing that whatever changes may occur, they will be cared for. This puts the focus back on spending time with family without the stress of caregiving.

6. Right Tribe

In the Blue Zones:

What the study uncovered is that your social circle carries great weight in terms of your lifestyle. Choosing a social circle that influences healthy behaviors promotes longevity and prevents loneliness.

At Twin Towers:

Twin Towers residents are welcomed into a tribe that offers care, support, social acceptance and an underlying current of enriching the lives of those around you. Whether you choose to join a fitness class, attend a worship service, go on a group trip or invite your family and friends for dinner- you are apart of a community that encourages these healthy interactions with a commitment to the betterment of our community.

With an interest in providing a healthy and happy lifestyle in our community, we are thrilled to find so many characteristics shared with the Blue Zones.

Twin Towers is more than just a place to live; it's a place to stay engaged in life, in your community, in your future. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact us today at 513-853-2000 or fill out our online form here.

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Topics: Senior Living Trends

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