Washington, Apr 16 : Any plans of completing a century in one lifetime? Well, a leading explorer and book author who has studied elderly Costa Ricans has found several basic threads that connect the longest-lived.
According to Dan Buettner, some of the several ways are: a plant-based diet; regular, low-intensity activity; an investment in family; a sense of faith; and purpose.
"We know that people who make it to a hundred tend to be nice," National Geographic quoted him, as saying.
"They ... drink from the fountain of life by being likeable and drawing people to them," he added.
Buettner has explored and studied the world's centenarian hot spots-which he calls blue zones-over the past several years.
"You see it over and over again: People who are living a long time have a reason to get up in the morning," Buettner said.
The other hot spots include Sardinia in Italy, which has the highest concentration of centenarians-most of which are men-and the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda in California.
Costa Rica also makes it onto the list. Nicoya Peninsula has the lowest middle-age mortality in the world, Buettner said.
"A 60-year-old in Costa Rica has more than a fourfold better chance of making it to 90 than a 60-year-old in America. They spend one-fifteenth the amount we do on public health, but they spend it in the right places," he said.
To Buettner, what is clear is that people can take control of improving their longevity.
"Set up your life, your home environment, your social environment, and your workplace so that you're constantly nudged into behaviors that favor longevity," he said.
The study is published in a new book, The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest.