There are certain places in the world where people tend to live longer. What is their secret, and how can we emulate them? Author Dan Buettner has recently released an updated edition of The Blue Zones, which outlines steps for longevity based on his studies of world cultures with a high percentage of centenarians. He identified the top five communities where the diet, lifestyle, outlook and stress-management practices lead to long and meaningful lives. We’ve thrown in a few more to round things up to ten locations with the longest life expectancy. With a few lifestyle adjustments, we might all live to 100.
Perhaps its their hardy Viking ancestry or all that geothermal energy, but Icelanders are known for living long and happy lives. A 2012 study from the World Health Organization found Icelandic men had the highest life expectancy in the world, averaging 81 years (compared to a world average of 68) and women rate high too. Furthermore, this Nordic country consistently scores high on happiness and quality of life indices. The diet rich in omega-3 fish, pesticide-free produce and skyr cultured yogurt no doubt contributes to this. The locals get plenty of exercise through outdoor activities like ice climbing, mountain climbing and kayaking. They also know how to relax in the natural hot springs and volcanic steam rooms. With a small and isolated population, strong relationships and social connectivity have been key to the culture. Gender equality and strong social programs have made Icelanders an easy-going, optimistic, positive group, despite those cold, dark winters.