Medicine-Religion Institute Presents "Blue Zone" Life Tips PDF Print E-mail
Wellness - Wellness
Written by Gil Hazelwood   
Saturday, 24 October 2015 09:37

CUMBERLAND, Md. – Lessons from “blue zones,” places where people live markedly longer and healthier lives, will be presented at the 49th annual Institute on Medicine and Religion to be held Friday, Nov. 20, at Allegany College of Maryland.


Blue Zones: Live Longer, Better Through Blue Zones Principles examines these longevity “hot spots” around the planet and discusses how what’s been learned there can contribute to long and healthier lifestyles everywhere.


An educational opportunity for health care and human service professionals as well as members of the general public, the presentation is based on findings by a team that included author Dan Buettner, leading longevity researchers and National Geographic Society members.


Buettner’s pioneering book, “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest,” identified five pockets around the world where people live longer and measurably healthier and seemingly happier lives.


Buettner drew from these lessons, which were based on empirical data as well as first-hand observations, to pinpoint nine characteristics found in the blue zones, where residents reached 100 years at rates 100 times greater than the United State as a whole.


These “Power 9” principles, as Buettner calls them, describe a purposeful life of reduced stress and moderate, but regular physical activity typified by family and other social engagement and religious or spiritual practice.


Moreover, blue zone residents take in moderate calories derived from a predominantly plant-based diet and have low consumption of alcohol.


Buettner’s Blue Zones organization partnered with AARP and the United Health Foundation in 2009 to apply Power 9 principles to an 18,000-resident city in southern Minnesota.


After one year, participants were found to have added an estimated 2.9 years to the average life span while health care claims by city workers dropped 49 percent.


Buettner’s brother, Tony, who manages blue zone projects for the organization, and Luann Alemao, a Blue Zones-trained speaker and coach who introduced the concept to her own community, will be the course instructors.


Their presentation will include the benefits of blue zones principles in Alemao’s Cedar Falls, Iowa, and a discussion of blue zones menu-planning and its importance to individual and community health.


The day-long program is co-sponsored by the Western Maryland Health System’s Pastoral Care department, the Community Wellness Coalition and the Center for Continuing Education and the Integrative Health program at ACM.


It is a continuing education opportunity for physicians, nurses, dental hygienists, dietitians, social workers, psychologists, professional counselors and clergy persons.


The program meets from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the College Center’s Zimmer Theatre. Lunch is provided. The deadline to register is Nov. 13.


For more information contact the WMHS Education Department at 240-964-8500. Information is also available on the WMHS website,

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