The first official zone of centenarians has appeared in the USA: what is it - ForumDaily
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The first official zone of centenarians has appeared in the USA: what is it?

Living to be 100 years old may seem like a great feat, but there are communities around the world where this is common - they're called Blue Zones. Minnesota native Dan Buettner is one of the leading experts on their creation. A few years ago, one Minnesota community decided it wanted families to follow his recommendations. And now the US has its own certified Blue Zone. How life is there, the publication told CBS News.

Photo: IStock

In 2016, the city of Albert Lea made headlines as it became the first community in the country to receive Blue Zone certification.

“I came to Albert Lea in 2008 with this crazy idea to do this pilot project to help us live longer and live better,” said Kathy Malacousi.

The inhabitants of the city began to live according to the principles of the “blue zone” - move more, communicate and adhere to a healthy diet.

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“I remember people getting together and hanging out all the time and going to each other’s houses to eat together,” said Mary Jo Walkman.

The community began hosting more events, healthier school lunches, and public spaces like dog parks, all of which encouraged people to get together and get moving.

The Mayo Clinic in Albert Lea became the largest employer in the city with the same values.

“It was easy to attract people. In my opinion, our problem is to maintain the fuse throughout this time. “Every business has its own characteristics,” says Trisha Dahl from the Mayo Clinic.

Part of the creation of the Blue Zone included the construction of a pedestrian path along the highway in Albert Lea so residents could walk to their local Walmart store instead of having to travel by vehicle. This is safer for pedestrians and reduces emissions from cars.

“We have added nearly 13 new miles of sidewalks and trails throughout the city,” Malacousi said.

Employers such as Arcadian Bank are supporting Blue Zones by offering healthy food options. They have rest rooms for nursing mothers and workout areas where you can move and relax during the workday.

“That’s what we’re trying to do to make healthy habits accessible to people,” said Jessica Tomshin.

Residents' overall well-being, sense of community and sense of purpose increased, according to the survey results.

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“A lot of people talk about how they have blossomed. The percentage of people with high blood pressure has actually decreased in Albert Lea, as has high cholesterol. For some reason, we are lagging behind in physical exercise,” Malacousi emphasized. “Our tobacco consumption has decreased.”

Of course, there are problems.

“Food continues to be our biggest challenge, especially access to food in the southern part of the city,” she admitted.

But community leaders say the desire to make life better for everyone brings a charm to Albert Lea that motivates others.

“We realized that we are a Blue Zone community, which means we are a great place to live,” Malacousi concluded.

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