How long will you live? And how well? Local author Dan Buettner can tell you.
April 3, 2008 - 01:11.
Whenever Karla Ekdahl sends me an invitation, and the date on my calendar is free, I accept before opening the email or the envelope—especially when the venue is the Pohlad Lounge at Minneapolis Central Library. A couple of months ago it was a sneak preview of the PBS documentary The Lobotomist, based on Jack El-Hai’s book of the same title. Tonight it was a lecture by Dan Buettner for the launch of his book The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.
Magical how, when I finally strolled to the book table after indulging in a fabulous buffet of noshies from the world’s healthiest places, there was one book left. The display copy. I bought it, had Dan sign it, and can’t wait to read it.
First of all, Dan-who’s-bicycled-around-the-world, Dan-with-the-fantastic-tan, Dan-who-dates-supermodel-Cheryl-Tiegs, Dan-the-guy-in-jeans is a hottie. I don’t care what he lectures on, just so he stands there in front of me—er, us.
Second, his content is relevant and interesting to everyone alive—and to everyone who wants to stay that way and feel good well into their high double-digit years. In fact, one of Dan’s scientist-sanctioned factoids of the evening was that heredity counts for only 6% of our longevity. The other 94% depends on our lifestyle choices. In other words, don’t blame your paunch on your parents. Don’t think that you’ll die of heart failure just because your grandparents did.
On Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones Community website, he offers a longevity calculator that he calls the Vitality Compass. How long can you expect to live a healthy life based on your habits? If you’re not happy with the answer, Dan’s tips for living longer might coax you down from the window ledge.
Here’s how Dan signed his book for me: “Akannoscent!” (Sardinian for “See you when you’re 100!”)