Making Collier County a “blue zone” for healthy living

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- “Anything to keep us all fitter.”

Collier County may soon be turning blue, so to speak.

“This is the first in Florida, we’re excited,” said Michael Ackner.

The people behind the Blue Zones Project have determined 5 places in the world where people live longer lives with fewer chronic diseases and they all have nine principles in common.

“What they are is demographically defined, geographically confirmed pockets around where people are living to extraordinary age, in some places 100,” said Tony Buettner with the Blue Zones Project.

“Having a sense of purpose or understanding the reason that you get up out of bed everyday in the morning is apparent in each one of these,” said Ackner.

Other things like walking, moderately drinking wine, and having an outlet to reduce stress are also included.

“We determined could we bring this, could we reverse engineer these common things back into our own communities in the United States,” said Ackner.

The group is working to identify how to make Collier County a blue zone. That includes how much it will cost. They hope to make the changes over the next 10 years.

“I just think it’s another logical aspect for the City of Naples,” said Naples Mayor John Sorey.

But some people already living here see a real-life challenge to adding years to all of our lives.

“I think it would depend on how much they spend but yeah anything that contributes to long life and good health has got to be valuable,” said resident Jerry Markham.

Author: Rachel Spangenthal
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