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Four Pillars of Optimal Health That Lead to a Blue Zone Life

  • Christa Rymal
  • Jun 26, 2018

The Point focuses on Four Pillars to improve the mental and physical health of guests. If you're familiar with the concept of Blue Zones, then you may see some commonalities between Blue Zones and the The Point's Four Pillars of optimal health.

Let us show you how the Point Retreat's Four Pillars to health and the features of the Blue Zones do have quite a bit in common.

What is a Blue Zone?

In 2005, National Geographic published a story about groups of people around the world that have above-average lifespans. The geographic areas where people enjoyed the longest lives included:

  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Icaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California

The authors referred to these areas as "Blue Zones." Further research showed that the locations had little to do with why people lived so much longer. Instead, the people living in these areas shared lifestyle traits that contributed to their long lifespans.

Movement

Research into Blue Zones finds that people who live the longest usually get moderate, regular physical activity. They don't spend their time sitting at desks or watching television from their couches. Instead, they're involved in daily, physical work that keeps them healthy.

Movement is also one of the Four Pillars of Optimal Health at the Point. Guests of the Point spend their days involved in various physical activities. Some people enjoy strolling along the retreat's wooded paths. Others seek adventure by paddle boarding across the lake.

At the Point, movement gets built into every aspect of daily life. Many researchers have discovered evidence that staying active helps prevent common ailments like:

  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

Sleep

There is a good chance that you don't get enough sleep each night. A century ago, most people slept about 9 hours per night. Today, you're lucky if you can squeeze in 6 or 7 hours before taking the kids to school or attending a morning meeting.

The Point encourages guests to get plenty of sleep because sleep deprivation contributes to significant health problems, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

Sleep deprivation also makes it more likely for people to have accidents while driving.

Blue Zones don't specifically address sleeping habits, but many of them have cultures that lack "time urgency." When people don't feel rushed, they're able to get enough sleep and lead healthier lives.

Nutrition

Nutrition plays a critical role in the long lives of people in Blue Zones. The people who live in Blue Zones tend to eat plant-based diets that include plenty of legumes, vegetables and fruit. Some people in Blue Zones even follow vegetarian or vegan diets.

The Point understands that people have unique dietary needs. You get plenty of flexibility in your meals during a retreat. Chefs at the Point use whole foods in their cooking. That means your body will get nourishment from healthy fats, high-quality protein and fresh plants that contain massive amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Restoration

Restoration means different things to different people. Blue Zone communities often give people restoration opportunities through:

  • Social engagement
  • Family
  • Spirituality or religion

As a guest at The Point, you have plenty of opportunities to spend time socializing with your new retreat community and tribe.

Guests can spend time outdoors, meditating, praying or journaling as they restore body, mind and spirit.

Blue Zones have a lot to teach modern society. When possible, apply them to your lifestyle. While attending a retreat at The Point, you'll get a chance to see how our Four Pillars of Optimal Health benefit your mind, body and soul.