Can Ontario County live like Okinawa?

A woman well past her 100th birthday tends her gardens and bounces a great-great-great grandchild on her knee. A man near her age builds a stone wall before going into heart surgery — not on his heart, but performing surgery as the physician.

In regions of the world where people live the longest there is no such thing as retirement. People don’t spend their last months or years in a nursing home, mostly because they don’t need to.

People take care of each other. Family, friends and faith are key to their existence. They aren’t lonely. Meditation or similar rituals are routine. They move. They walk, they ride a bicycle, and they stay active because it’s part of daily life.

Their diet consists mainly of vegetables, herbs and spices and often legumes and beans.

Can we learn from this lifestyle? Of course, but what does it take?

Dan Buettner set off traveling the world a number of years ago to discover the secrets of longevity. He and a team explored many regions of the world and returned home to the United States with answers. Those answers and a formula based on research and first-hand experience became known as the Blue Zones Project.

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