Recently, the City of San Jose held an event where residents where provided information on the idea of a Blue Zones Community. Sponsored by City of San Jose Council-member Devora Davis of District 6, a presenter educated attendees of how practices within Blue Zones Communities help people live a longer and healthier life.
Here’s what we learned:
What do Blue Zones Communities encourage?
- Healthy Eating
- Plant-based diets
- Eating until you are 80% full
- A glass of wine (not the entire bottle) with dinner
- Moving naturally throughout the day
- Walking or biking to work
- Community Support
- Having the right tribe of people around you
- Keeping your loved ones close
- Maintaining a sense of belonging
- Having a job
- A clear understanding of your life goals
There are Blue Zones in cities such as Albert Lea, Minnesota, Linda Loma, California, Fort Worth, Texas and throughout the world. People within the communities live long, healthy and happy lives. While this idea may be enticing for any city, there are major things to think about.
Who will be affected by Blue Zones?
- Elderly Population
- Based on the attendee demographics, it appears that older people are very interested in Blue Zones. It will likely teach them new routines to help extend some years on their life as the idea of mortality becomes a major topic the older they become.
- People of Color
- After living in Miami for several years, I can only imagine telling Cubans they must lean off their cultural food and gravity to a more plant-based diet. This is a hard ask in many urban areas because it’s so diverse and people’s lifestyles tend to tie closely to their home country.
- Low socioeconomic status
- How much will it cost to live such a lifestyle? Will residents have to pay more to eat healthy? To live longer? It’s unfortunate, but fast food restaurants are beneficial because they are affordable to those who are unable to spend too much on food.
San Jose may very well be the perfect city to become a Blue Zones Community. It’s pedestrian and biker friendly, and has the means for people to naturally stay fit while enjoying the wineries in the area. It will be interesting to see if this gets taken to the City Council. If this idea turns into actuality, every member of the community must benefit. Hopefully, no one gets left out.
What do you think? Should San Jose become a Blue Zones Community?
Let us know.