Move Here: Live Longer?

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Joan Lunden

Healthy Living /

Event   06 2012   loma linda commencement speech
Giving the commencement speech in May 2012 to the Loma Linda School of Medicine

Last May I had the honor of giving the commencement speech for the Loma Linda University, School of Medicine.  My father graduated from the same medical school 75 years earlier and it was an incredible way for me to honor his legacy.  (Lunden honors the 75th anniversary of father's graduation from Loma Linda...)

In addition to my father's association to the school, I have been otherwise interested in this university for as long as I can remember, after reading Dan Buettner's "The Blue Zones."  Beuttner points to the 5 places in the world where people live the longest because of lifestyle, environmental factors, etc.  Loma Linda is one of these places!  

Here are the 5 places that meet Beuttner's criteria as a "Blue Zone:"

  • Barbagia region of Sardinia – Mountainous highlands of inner Sardinia with the world’s highest concentration of male centenarians.
  • Ikaria, Greece – Aegean Island with one of the world’s lowest rate of middle age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – World’s lowest rates of middle age mortality, second highest concentration of male centenarians.
  • Seventh Day Adventists – Highest concentration is around Loma Linda, California. They live 10 years longer than their North American counterparts.
  • Okinawa, Japan – Females over 70 are the longest-lived population in the world.

Last month a fabulous article came out in The Atlantic called, "The Lovely Hill: Where People Live Longer and Happier." The article, about Loma Linda and its residents, explores why people living there live for 4 - 7 years longer than the average American.  They talk about how in this town smoking is banned, alcohol is hard to find, and unhealthy food is scarce.  I remember living in a household that resembled this growing up.  My father was a vegetarian and lived a very healthy lifestyle.  Health & wellness was a priority and he passed that on to me as a child.

I will always thank him for that.

I recommend reading the article in The Atlantic, it is so interesting and offers a few take-home pieces that you might even want to incorporate into your own life!

Gladyce  earl  joan  and jeff skiing
My brother, father, mother, and myself on a healthy active vacation skiing.
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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