At the heart of both Blue Zones and the American Heart Association (AHA) lies a shared vision: promoting longevity and improving cardiovascular health. By combining the power of Blue Zones’ research and community projects with the American Heart Association’s expertise and resources, we can create a powerful, synergistic force to combat cardiovascular disease and help millions of people live healthier, longer lives.
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of women?
It’s true. Cardiovascular disease causes 1 in 3 deaths in women each year.
That’s why Blue Zones is working together with AHA to ensure that women live long, healthy lives, beginning with the hearts we love most: our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.
The” Go Red For Women” campaign will save lives.
By supporting the “Go Red for Women” campaign initiative by the American Heart Association, Blue Zones sees a unique opportunity to amplify the impact of our shared mission to drive positive change in cardiovascular health. Together, we can reach a broader audience, provide valuable resources, and utilize evidence-based approaches of both organizations to win the fight against heart disease and stroke, helping millions of people live healthier, happier, and longer lives.
How does the Blue Zones Power 9® lifestyle compare with recommendations by AHA?
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1. Physical activity
Blue Zones has discovered that the world’s healthiest, longest-lived people engage in regular, low-intensity physical activity, often as part of their daily routines, such as walking, gardening, or performing household chores.
This compares favorably with the American Heart Association’s recommendation to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, which can include walking, swimming, or other daily activities that elevate heart rate.
2. Having a sense of purpose
Blue Zones research has found that having a sense of purpose, or a reason to get out of bed each day, is a common trait among the longest-lived individuals around the globe.
And while the AHA doesn’t specifically address “purpose” as a separate category, they do emphasize mental health and stress management as crucial components of overall heart health. Certainly, having a sense of purpose can contribute to mental well-being and reduce stress.
3. Down shifting
Blue Zones has discovered that the longest-lived populations have daily routines such as meditation, napping, or socializing with friends that contribute to the health of mind, body, and soul.
This downshifting is similar to the American Heart Association’s recommendations to engage in stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing, and physical activity to lower stress levels and promote overall well-being.
4. The 80% Rule
People in the Blue Zones eat until they are 80% full, which helps them consume fewer calories and maintain a healthy weight. This Power 9 habit is similar to the American Heart Association’s advice for people to control portion sizes and focus on nutrient-dense foods to maintain a healthy weight, which can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
5. The Plant Slant
The world’s longest-lived populations in Blue Zones consume a predominantly plant-based diet, with a focus on vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, which compares favorably with the American Heart Association’s recommendation to support a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts to lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall health.
6. Wine at 5
Moderate alcohol consumption, particularly red wine, is a common practice in some of the world’s longest-lived populations researched by Blue Zones. Not surprisingly, the American Heart Association also suggests moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, because of the potential heart health benefits due to its polyphenol content.
7. A sense of belonging
People in the Blue Zones often participate in faith-based communities, which can contribute to a sense of belonging and social support. And while the AHA doesn’t specifically address faith-based communities, they do recognize the importance of social connections for overall heart health and encourage individuals to seek social support and foster strong relationships with others.
8. Loved ones come first
The longest-lived Blue Zones populations prioritize family and invest time and energy in nurturing strong relationships. Similarly, the American Heart Association acknowledges the role of social connections in cardiovascular health and encourages individuals to focus on building positive relationships with family members and loved ones.
9. The Right Tribe
The world’s healthiest, longest-lived people in Blue Zones surround themselves with like-minded individuals who share similar values and healthy lifestyle habits.
This “right tribe” philosophy is also shared by the American Heart Association who emphasizes the impact of social connections and support networks on heart health and encourages individuals to engage in community activities, group exercise programs, or support groups that foster a sense of belonging and promote healthy lifestyles.
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