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Discovering the keys to living a long life in Costa Rica’s Blue Zone

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Unlocking the Secrets of Longevity: Exploring Blue Zones and the Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life

Living to 100 may seem like a distant dream for many, but for the residents of Blue Zones like the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, it’s a reality. These regions have unlocked the secret to a fulfilling and long life, where people not only live longer but also healthier lives compared to the global average. So, beyond winning the genetic lottery, what can you do to increase your chances of reaching that milestone?

One of the key factors that contribute to longevity in Blue Zones is the connection to food, community, nature, and purpose. As a chef, I decided to immerse myself in this lifestyle by fishing for blackfin tuna off the coast of Costa Rica and experiencing the process of catching, killing, preparing, cooking, and serving the fish. This deep connection to food and nature is believed to be one of the reasons why people in Blue Zones live over 100 years.

The concept of Blue Zones was first coined by Dan Buettner, who identified specific regions in the world where people live longer, healthier lives. The Nicoya Peninsula is one of these Blue Zones, known for its lower rates of chronic diseases and a high number of centenarians. The Pura Vida lifestyle of the region, which emphasizes a plant-centered diet, deep connections with people and nature, and intentional living, has become a model for wellness tourism.

To experience this lifestyle firsthand, I visited Hotel Nantipa in Santa Theresa, a pioneering wellness resort that offers a Blue Wellness Experience designed to immerse guests in the way of life that fuels the vitality of the local community. Activities include stress management through meditation and yoga, forest hiking, swimming in bioluminescent waters, and surfing in the Pacific Ocean. The hotel’s beachside restaurant, Manzú, serves fresh, locally sourced cuisine that bursts with flavor and energy.

If Nantipa delivers wellness of the mind, then its sister hotel Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa in the Costa Rican rainforest focuses on wellness of the body. The resort’s thermal hot springs and spa treatments offer a unique experience of relaxation and connection to nature. Guests can also participate in outdoor activities like waterfall rappelling and wildlife trips to appreciate the outdoors and its impact on well-being.

Ultimately, the key to living a long and happy life may not lie in technology or medical advancements, but in simple yet profound connections to food, community, nature, and purpose. By embracing the lifestyle of Blue Zones and making small changes in our daily habits, we can increase our chances of reaching 100 and beyond. So, why not start fishing with friends and embracing the Pura Vida way of life today?

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