I made it to the final chapter of “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest“, which I was raving about a few days ago in “Healthy Zeal is on the Rise“. At this point the book shifts gears to how you can create “Your Personal Blue Zone” with 9 strategies.
To measure your starting point, there is a “Vitality Compass” offered on their website www.bluezones.com. It’s fast and easy to take. When you answer the final question, the site pops up with some first-of-its-kind information for me. I’ve played with Life Expectancy calculators before, but never one that shows an estimate for
“Your Healthy Life Expectancy“, which was shockingly less than “Your Life Expectancy“. I always assume I’ll have the benefit of a speedy exit, rather than a long-drawn-out affair – even though I see evidence all around me, including these numbers, to indicate a different reality. My numbers show that I could be in decline for 12 years. Yikes! This is a good reminder on many levels, from financial planning to timing of bucket list items, to how long can we live in a house with no bedrooms on the ground floor.
The Vitality Compass, also indicates the opportunity gain in years, if you optimize your lifestyle. It then leads you to specific recommendations to achieve that gain. Each recommendation had a specific number of days that you could expect to gain, by making a change. More “whole grains” would add 61 days. More fish would add 49 days. And so on … Even though I’m abstaining from alcohol during Lent, I answered the alcohol consumption question with an average of 1 glass per day, just to see what happened. The Vitality Compass liked that and encouraged that in the summary. Looking forward to Easter Sunday in 40 days, so I can get back to healthier drinking habits!
The website also offers a “Vitality Coaching” program that you can subscribe to with email feedback and progress monitoring. I thought I’d try that out, to see what it’s like. More on that in a future post.
Give it a try! There’s no downside. You can keep it private. Play around with the various dimensions and experiment with some “What Ifs”. That’s next on my list.