Blue Zones are longevity zones and Boulder CO is one of them.
There are specific areas in the world where people live much longer than average.
Blue Zone residents tend to have a number of things in common. These things are considered possible contributors to their amazing longevity.
Boulder Colorado is the happiest city in the U.S.
Boulder, Colorado, is the happiest city in the country according to the survey developed by Blue Zone author Dan Buettner. The progressive town’s “sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies” are just a few of the reasons residents of the Rocky Mountain city always seem to be slinging smiles," the research found.
These are lifestyle habits that anyone can work toward.
As I adopted these habits, trying to improve my lifestyle, I realized Blue Zone Habits can be used to support other members of my family that might benefit from learning about them.
In particular, teenagers.
Teenagers are sponges, absorbing everything around them. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to work on your own lifestyle before trying to impose these habits on them.
Begin by focusing on your family, not on them.
Share the nine habits with them and engage them in a discussion of your family's lifestyle. Ask them if they see areas where your family could improve.
If it works for you, try and work together toward the common goal of improving your lifestyles.
Brainstorm small steps you could take for each one of the following habits.
Just keep moving.
- This is a difficult one for many teens. Stuck inside during the pandemic, unable to participate in sports or teams, they may be a bit depressed about it. Discuss other options.
- What are the possibilities for setting up a corner of your home for short workouts? Do you need to invest in weights or equipment?
- Set a timer and when it goes off, yell, ‘one-minute fitness break’. Then run up and down the stairs madly until the minute is up. Feel free to adapt this idea to suit your needs.
- If your teen tends to spend too much time on the computer and their idea of a break is to switch from school work to social media, find ways to get them moving.
- Follow their lead. Ask them for support. Together you can establish a new habit.
- If you can go outside right now, go outside every day, rain or shine. A short walk and a change of scenery can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
Know why are you here.
- Your teen will follow your lead. If you’re involved in a community charity or engaged in supporting a group such as a food bank or homeless society, ask them to join you in your efforts.
- If you aren’t currently a volunteer, consider becoming one.
- Encourage them to discover their passions. Journalling is a great way to uncover hidden talents and discover things they might want to try.
- Listen to their dreams.
- If they express an interest, be helpful if possible. Keep your negative thoughts and opinions to yourself.
Find ways to shed stress.
- Teach your teen how to meditate. If they aren’t listening to you, share your meditation links.
- Encourage them to pay attention to their breathing. Air is essential. Calming your breath slows down your nervous system.
- Show them the importance of taking a moment to pray, reflect or rest.
- Establish a routine of ritual invocation, even if it is throwing open the window and taking a long deep breath.
- Listen to their suggestions and be supportive of their needs.
- Allow them to take time for themselves.
- Go out into nature. If you can’t do that, bring seeds and earth into your home and plant a little garden. Taking care of plants is beneficial to your health.
Reduce food intake.
- Buy healthy food.
- Don’t fill the cupboards with snacks and chips that encourage overeating.
- Menu plan, and cook together.
- Ask them for meal suggestions and listen to their answers.
- Encourage your teen to cook for the family one or two days a week. It’s great for them to learn how to prepare a meal and a good break for you.
Eat mainly plants.
- Stock your fridge with lots of fresh veggies.
- Wash and chop veggies right away so they’re available for quick snacks.
- Plan vegetarian meals. Begin with one dinner a week. Experiment.
Drink wine moderately
- Talk openly about the dangers of alcohol with your teenager.
- Share your struggle with alcohol. Talk about what you did to improve your relationship with alcohol.
- Practice saying no. Find ways for your teen to say no without being embarrassed or shunned by her peers. Talking about it will help them stand up for themselves later.
- Listen to what they are saying about alcohol. You may be surprised at how they view things.
- This is where you can build the foundation for healthy alcohol consumption in your teen’s future.
- Your faith community is a great place to begin teaching your teen the importance of belonging.
- Listen to what they have to say about community and belonging. You may learn they have different needs than you imagined. Respect that.
- If you don’t belong or can’t participate right now, join an online community that holds a regular meditation or prayer practice.
- Walk the talk. Your actions and behavior toward your close and extended family are what teens are watching.
Choose your social network carefully.
- Include your teen in your supportive circle of friends.
- Bring them along on activities that they will enjoy, especially if other teens will be there.
- Talk about the importance of supportive friends.
- Listen to their experiences with friendships. Talk about how their friend’s behaviors are the sign of a good or bad friend.
Building a foundation for your Teen’s Blue Zone habits is a gift you can share with them for the rest of your life.
Living in Boulder Colorado is another.