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Have You Heard of the Blue Zones?

There is currently a Netflix documentary on the Blue Zones called Live to 100: The Secrets of the Blue Zones with Dan Buettner. There are also books about the Blue Zones but the Netflix series has raised more awareness about them.

Maybe you don’t want to live to 100 but maybe you are looking to make changes in the new year or are working on or thinking about new year’s resolutions. Some tips from the Blue Zones might help you have the best year yet!

The Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live the longest and healthiest. I enjoyed watching the documentary and learning more about each area and their lifestyle habits…and bonus,…. they are all beautiful places which made me want to travel to them.

My biggest takeaways were that people in each Blue Zone:

1) Had a purpose/knew their purpose. They also knew their values and were valued by their communities.

2) Focused on the present

3) Saw friends or family everyday

4) Move naturally all day long – no gym or set exercise needed

5) Did not have a lot of chronic stress and they had daily routines to de-stress like naps, happy hour, prayer, etc.

6) Connection to elders is valued/treasured – people in these communities and families gained wisdom from their elders which allowed them to excel

7) Volunteered/served humanity

8) They had an 80% rule which is to eat until you are 80% full and then stop and they also ate their smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon/evening and didn’t eat after that. A lot of the food they eat comes from their own garden.

9) Daily happy hour! In the blue zones they would drink alcohol 1-2 glasses regularly with friends and food.

Other notes from watching the documentary are that in each Blue Zone family came first and most families were nearby or in the same home. They had social circles that consisted of people that supported healthy habits. Centenarians in these areas also tend to belong to some type of faith based community.

Gardening, housework, yard work, walking, taking the stairs, staying busy with different hobbies and being outside were the ways they stayed moving throughout the day. Less time sitting and more time moving. Less time driving and more time walking or biking places.

The Blue Zones lifestyle adds 10-12 years onto the average persons life expectancy.

So are you feeling inspired now? Maybe call up a friend and go walking. Set up a happy hour. Ask yourself why you get up in the morning? Make sure you know your purpose and can manage stress and enjoy life like those in the Blue Zones:) Happy 2024!

Simple and Quick Activities to Try with Grandkids

Here are some fun energy burners for you to try with your grandkids. I know my kids love doing these activities with their grandparents. They can be played both indoors and outdoors and only with things you can find around your house!

Red Light Green Light

Green means go, yellow means slow down, and red means stop. Sometimes we add in different colors like purple for backwards walking. This game is also good for grandparents to work on speed changes and reaction time!

Simon Says

A classic game that can be as active as you want it to be. Some examples: Simon says take 3 big steps. Simon says walk as fast as you can. Simon says tip toe. Simon says walk side ways (side step). Simon says walk like a monster. So many ways to play this and also great for grandparents to participate!

Obstacle Course

Use random things from around the house or that are outside to manuever around, step over, step under, step on, balance on, go through, etc. So many options and ways to get creative with objects that you have! Also good practice for grandparents to participate.

Scavenger Hunt

You can do this by having kids find objects of a certain color, shape, theme, or specific objects. Many more options can be found on google.

Stand on One Leg or Tight Rope Walk

See how long you and your grandkids can stand on one leg, you can pretend to be a flamingo. Next see if you can walk a pretend tight rope in the circus by walking heel to toe. 

If you want to participate with the grandkids of course be safe and know your limits! If there are things that are challenging, if you feel unsteady or like you aren’t able to do, feel free to contact A to Z Personal Wellness to increase your confidence and improve your strength, balance and mobility to keep up with the grandkids!

Scenic Walking Paths Around Rochester

It is a great time to get outside and go for a walk. I thought I would share some of our favorite walking paths around the Rochester area. I have put together a list of paths that are mostly flat, paved and have benches to rest and enjoy the scenery.  These paths also happen to be very toddler and stroller friendly, if you are looking for a nice place to walk and explore with grandkids! 

There are so many benefits to walking, even if it is only 10 minutes a day. Let’s start with the fact that it is free and you can do it anywhere! Walking helps strengthen muscles, reduces joint pain, improves quality of sleep, improves cognition, reduces anxiety and depression, reduces blood pressure and risk of heart disease, diabetes and more! If those weren’t enough reasons to take a walk, take advantage of the weather, make it fun and call a friend to join you! 

Also make sure to start small if you have been hibernating all winter. Slowly increase your walking time/distance. 

Here are 7 places to try:

  1. Cobbs Hill Reservoir – a .7 mile paved loop with places to stop and rest
  1. North Ponds Park – 1 mile loop around both ponds, paved path with benches to rest, does have a few inclines
  1. Penfield Veterans Memorial Park – paved paths but also has a nature trail, fairy houses, a playground and a a few other things for grandkids to enjoy
  1. Butterfly Nature Trail – .25 mile, can be down and back or you can also do a loop, flat trail
  1. Fellows Rd park – 1 mile paved path loop that has benches to rest
  1. The canal path in the Village of Fairport and Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk – wetland walk is on a boardwalk off of the canal path
  1. Brickyard Trail at Sandra L. Frankel Nature park – .8 miles, flat trail with sitting area

If you have concerns about going for a walk outside or would like to improve your walking, contact A to Z Personal Wellness.