Ikarian secrets to a long and healthy life

“The Blue Zones”, a result of the longevity research project funded by National Geographic, outlines the diets, healthy habits, and cultural values of identified long-lived groups. Diet does tend to be the entrance ramp for better health according to Dan Buettner.

In addition he reports, “None of the spry 90 and 100 year-olds I met exercise in the way we think of it, like spending half an hour on a treadmill. The secret they teach us is the importance of engineering “nudges” for physical activity into our daily life, like planting a garden, which sets up a nudge for the entire growing season to be out there watering, weeding or harvesting.” Also, “They live in a place where every trip to the store or to work occasions a walk.” National Geographic 4/12/15,  Here Are the Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life, by Simon Worrall

In the Huffington Post 10/15/14,  Secrets from the Island Where People Forget to Die by Laine Bergeson, Diane Kochilas emailed from her home in Greece, the six secrets to a long life:

1. Eat locally, seasonally and sparingly. 

2. Live deliberately and don’t rush. 

3. Enjoy sleep. 

4. Let things go.

5. Turn to herbs for most of the minor things that ail you and let your body heal itself.

6. Walk. Plain and simple. Exercise for priming body and mind alike. Every old person I know on Ikaria still walks a lot.


I have read that it is hard to get through the day in Ikaria without walking up 20 hills:) Last week, along with cooking and eating the traditional Thanksgiving menu, I made time for walking, hiking and some biking, even though the weather was less than cooperative.  One family hike was a three-mile climb with 1800 feet of elevation gain.  My legs felt it the next day, but that view from the top was well worth it!

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