Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
Residents of small Minnesota town of Albert Lea collectively participated in an AARP Blue Zone Vitality Project aimed at increasing their life expectancy. It can often be difficult to change one’s lifestyle when it comes to diet and exercise, but the people of this small town made it easy by banding together, creating seminars and working in groups.
The entire community participated in the project, both young and old alike. Households, schools and even restaurants and local businesses had a hand in the project. Local experts would offer seminars in which they educated households on creating smaller portions and eliminating junk foods. Schools would have “walking school buses,” which were guided by chaperones. Soon enough, even restaurants would provide health smart options on their menus.
Stories like this prove that it’s always the right time to make the right choices when it comes to your health and your diet. When you’re taking care of a loved one, be sure that they’re getting enough of the right types of food and exercise. Also, encourage them to be social with their neighbors as social interaction and a strong network of friends has been proven to have a positive effect on overall happiness. Being part of a community is important and offers a great support system.