Ikaria is a “blue zone” – one of five global destinations with a disproportionate concentration of centenarians – that is proving significant to scientists trying to figure out whether living a long, healthy life can be reduced to a lifestyle equation. Joining Ikaria in triple-digit significance are the Okinawa region of Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, Southern California’s Loma Linda and Sardinia, Italy.
The term “blue zone” was coined in 2004 by scientist Gianni Pes in his research on the aforementioned Italian island, published in Experimental Gerontology. In the years since, academics have analysed the dietary patterns, relational dynamics and social habits of these populations in an attempt to tease out a formula for growing old, if not as gracefully as Jen Aniston and J.Lo, then healthily. “The inhabitants of these places are not only living an extra, say, 12 years,” says Dan Buettner, a journalist who’s dedicated his career to studying longevity and authored The Blue Zones book series. “Biologically speaking, they’re a decade younger every step of the way.”
The generation game
Despite what the beauty industry would have you believe, the real pursuit of eternal youth has been happening in labs. Scientific advances have delivered big breakthroughs in our understanding of the physiology of longevity. Both telomeres (the ends of chromosomes in DNA that have been likened to the fuse on a bomb – the longer they are, the better) and the APOE signal (a type of lipoprotein linked to Alzheimer’s and heart disease) were discovered in the ’90s, and Y2K ushered in the Human Genome Project. In the years since, researchers have been looking across the genome for individual variants that affect lifespan, leading to news reports about the so-called longevity gene – but the headlines are a little premature. “While your genes do affect how long – and how well – you live, only about a seventh of your lifespan is decided by genetics,” explains Dr Peter Joshi, a human-lifespan researcher at the University of Edinburgh. “Lifestyle and environment play a bigger role.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Welcome to the land of Oat Milk & Manuka Honey
Nestled in the rural outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, lies the town of Serenbe: a revolutionary wellness utopia designed to keep its residents fit, thriving and happy – for life. Could it hold the cure for the maladies of urban living? Or should its promises be taken with a healthy pinch of Himalayan salt? Before the world went into lockdown, one zen-seeking writer made the journey to find out
Laura Enever walked away from her pro surfing career to conquer the big waves as a freesurfer. Here, she reveals why she followed her heart
OUR KINDA GIRL... Elle Ferguson
Take a scroll through Elle Ferguson’s Instagram and you’d be forgiven for thinking the mogul had it easy: an impressive following, a successful tanning product range, and better locks than a haircare commercial. What you won’t find on there are the sleepless nights, countless rejections and the time she spent relabelling bottles on her living room floor. Here, the 32-year-old talks backing yourself and the secret behind her beauty brand, Elle Effect.
If it's not a Hell Yeah, it's a NO!
Sure thing! No probs! Of course! Happy to help! The word ‘yes’ easily rolls off the tongue in a million agreeable ways. But what if we told you that, contrary to everything the world has taught you so far, saying yes isn’t actually the key to winning at life? In fact, it might just be holding you back.
How to Live to...120
Jennifer Aniston, J.Lo and Jane Fonda have nailed the art of defying time, but us mere mortals don’t have their kind of dough (or specialists). Instead, take a lesson in longevity from the “blue zones”, hot spots that are home to the planet’s longest-living populations.
9 Biggest Lies In Wellness
Whether activating your glutes or your almonds, the struggle to decipher #fitspo fact from fiction is real. Between social media influencers, Reddit zealots and that pushy guy at the supplement store, some seriously ridiculous – and potentially dangerous – ideas have moved from fringe theory to health gospel. It doesn’t help that the booming wellness industry, worth an estimated $4.5 trillion, is difficult to regulate. So to help you navigate these heavily filtered waters, here are the new health virtues that shouldn’t be – and a few simple tactics you can use to actually improve your life.
Clean Up Your Digital Act
The realistic way to make over your relationship with tech
Kate The Fighter
Actress Kate Beckinsale is stronger than ever thanks to a no B.S diet, near-daily workouts and a refreshingly optimistic outlook. (oh, and she’ll date whoever she wants, thank you very much)
What’s it like to swim solo for hours with sharks lurking below? Meet the record-breaking swimmer who knows
She lit up Dancing with the Stars last year, but these days actor Olympia Valance saves her moves solely for house parties. Now, she has a new fitness love: the weights room. And she wants you to get your strong on
MARTIAL ARTS VS. FIGHTING ARTS
JUDO ISN’T REALLY GOOD FOR SELF-DEFENSE. TRADITIONAL KARATE COMPETITIONS THAT DON’T HAVE ANY CONTACT AREN’T VERY EXCITING. TAI CHI DOESN’T DO ANYTHING FOR AEROBIC FITNESS. TAEKWONDO IS JUST A SPORT. COMMENTS LIKE THESE ARE COMMON IN MARTIAL ARTS CIRCLES. OFTEN, THEY COME FROM THOSE WHO IMAGINE THEMSELVES MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED AND COMPETENT THAN PERHAPS THEY ARE. WHEN WE HEAR SUCH STATEMENTS, WE WOULD DO WELL TO CONSIDER WHAT IS REALLY BEING SAID. MORE IMPORTANT, WHEN EVALUATING ANY ASPECT OF A FIGHTING ART, WE NEED TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THAT ART IS FOR.
THE MARINES' LAST DOGFIGHT
THE CORSAIR WAS ONE TOUGH BIRD
The Good Life
Discover Sardinia’s secrets to living longer and better.
DUAL Purpose E-Vehicle
Okinawa Autotech has launched Dual, an electric scooter that is aimed at both the B2B as well as the B2C segment. Since its speed is restricted to 25kmpl, the Okinawa Dual will not need any government registration and neither will one need a driver’s license to ride it.
PARA NO NVEJECER
El envejecimiento del organismo se debe a una combinación de factores genéticos y medioambientales: acortamiento del ADN (ácido desoxirribonucleico), estrés oxidativo, glucación (o glicación)... Presentamos información actualizada sobre el envejecimiento, sus causas y las maneras de ralentizarlo*.
De los Santos wins 3 golds in 24 hours
For the second time in a month, world No. 1 e-kata fighter James De los Santos recorded another single-day haul of three gold medals as he ruled three karate online tournaments.
Así se rindió Japón
El 15 de agosto de 1945, Japón se rindió en la II Guerra Mundial. El 2 de septiembre, el ministro de Exteriores, Mamoru Shigemitsu, firmó la capitulación ante el general Richard Sutherland, a bordo del USS Missouri.
Lessons from the Blue Zones
Blue Zones are regions of the planet where a high proportion of people live to be over 100 years old. Here, we reveal the secrets for living a happy, healthy and long life and how you can integrate lessons from the Blue Zones into your own way of living.
5 Of The Best Things To Eat
5 Of The Best Things To Eat
EL PAPEL DE L AS FUERZ AS DE ATAQUE SU IC IDAS: KAMIKAZES
Basándose en un estereotipo reaccionario y ultranacionalista del samurái, el gobierno imperial de Japón sacrificó a miles de jóvenes en la guerra lanzándolos a una muerte segura y completamente inútil.