How to Live to 100: Health Practitioner Jason Prall’s 7 Simple Health Secrets From the Blue Zones

8 minutes read -
Tatiana Azman
Written by
Jason Prall, a longevity and optimal health practitioner and the founder of The Human Longevity Project
Table of Contents
Highlights: Modern life can challenge our well-being. Learn how simplicity, inspired by the Blue Zone elders and advocated by Jason Prall, can enhance your longevity.
Contents

Longevity—it’s the topic of the century. Especially when there’s a countless number of diseases invading our existence. 

But unless we’re hitting the triple digits, not many of us really understand what “longevity” even means. Or why it’s important. Or how to even do it.

Oftentimes, we’re thinking about chronic disease, how do we avoid disease, how do we avoid and resolve chronic disease,” Jason Prall, a longevity and optimal health practitioner and the founder of The Human Longevity Project, points out in an episode of The Mindvalley Show with Vishen. “But there wasn’t a lot of people talking about health, where health comes from, how to initiate health, how to foster health.”

That set him off to learn from “some of the oldest people” out there—better known as centenarians. And what he found boils down to this: the secret to longevity is simpler than we think.

Watch the full 34-minute episode:

Ep #039 | Secrets to Longevity: Keys to Living Longer and Healthier

How We’re Hurting Our Longevity, According to Jason Prall

Long hours, tight deadlines, constant connectivity, information overload, multi-tasking—this is the life we’ve accepted to live. If anything, we’re masters of the fast-paced lifestyle.

This speed, unfortunately, comes at a high price. As Jason points out, our day-to-day isn’t conducive to our body’s natural rhythms.

When we’re out of alignment with ourselves, nature, and [the] people around us, this is where suffering ensues. — @JasonPrall Click To Tweet

Let’s take the circadian rhythm, for example. There are so many ways we’re completely turning our sleep schedule upside down.

For starters, we’re forcing kids to wake up much earlier than their biological clocks would prefer, which then impacts their ability to learn and increases their risk of injury. What’s more, adults are throwing off their internal clocks, thanks to screen time before bedtime.

While it may seem like such a small thing to worry about, pushing against our natural sleep patterns affects everything from our mood to our metabolism.

Science says so, too—exposure to artificial light at night can significantly affect sleep. One study even found that too much of it “may have negative effects on the psychological, cardiovascular, and/or metabolic functions.” Another study found that it’s “significantly associated with increased risk of weight gain and obesity.”

While hustling might bring in the dough, slowing down and syncing to our biological rhythms isn’t just beneficial; as Jason highlights, it’s essential for a longer, healthier life.

What the Blue Zone Centenarians Are Doing Right

In his docu-series, The Human Longevity Project, Jason and his crew travel through the Blue Zones. These are the places—Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, to name a few—where a good majority are devoid of chronic disease and live an exceptionally long life.

But there, it’s not about the latest anti-aging trends or biohacking techniques. Instead, it’s something far more… well, simple.

The key,” says Jason, using Sardinia and the way they’ve lived over the last 100 years as an example, “is the simplicity—simplicity of thought, simplicity of food, simplicity of the way of life.”

Their daily routine includes putting in those steps, not because it’s a chore but because it’s a way of life. They drink water straight from mountain springs. And in their society, family and community are top priorities, which help contribute significantly to their mental and emotional well-being.

Jason Prall’s 7 Simple, Yet Impactful Tips on How to Increase Longevity

The Blue Zone centenarians’ lifestyle is less go and more slow. 

We are way too overactive in our minds,” Jason says. “Slowing things down, making things a little bit more simple, moving consistently” is a start, he suggests, to a better quality of life.

Granted, your goal may not be to live to 100. But living a life of happiness and health does start with taking steps to enhance your vitality and lower your biological age.

So the question boils down to this: Short of moving to the countryside and becoming a shepherd, how can you apply the Blue Zone’s habits to your modern life? Here’s what Jason suggests for optimal health:

1. Simplify your diet

Sure, processed foods might be the quick and easy solution for a meal on the go or after a long day at work. However, they’re packed with artificial ingredients and high in sugar, which can wreak havoc on your gut microbiome.

So, start with what’s on your plate. Chuck those Pop-Tarts, breakfast cereals, and microwave dinners and start, as Jason advises, “eating better foods—more natural, organic foods.”

Your body is your temple, as the saying goes. Feed it the things—like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins—that nourish and revitalize your health rather than deplete it.

2. Prioritize physical activity

Gym is life for a number of people. But for the Blue Zone elders, movement is life.

Granted, many of them are shepherds, so walking 30 to 40 kilometers a day is just another Monday. However, this kind of low-intensity activity can really amp up your health.

According to a 2012 study, getting active does way more than just make you look good. It helps sharpen your brain, give your immune system a boost, get your gut health on point, and even make your liver happier.

The entire system,” Jason points out, “changes by just improving and getting more exercise.

3. Foster strong social connections

Everything is online nowadays. Even communication has gone digital. And while technology has made staying connected easier, being connected is a whole other thing.

But it’s what centenarians do best—they have strong social support networks. Here’s what that looks like:

  • In Okinawa, Japan, there’s the concept of “Moai,” a group of lifelong friends that support each other emotionally, financially, and health-wise. They gather regularly to chat, share advice, and provide support, and this contributes significantly to their mental and emotional well-being.
  • In Sardinia, Italy, families often live in multi-generational homes, where grandparents play a key role in the household. This arrangement provides them with a sense of purpose and keeps them actively involved in family affairs and childcare.
  • In Loma Linda, California, community members often gather for group meals or participate in community services. They can exchange recipes, engage in healthy eating, and enjoy social interaction.

Surely, other places have their own way of fostering social connections. But regardless of what they are, the common denominator is that human connection nourishes the soul, reinforces a sense of belonging, and proves to be a crucial ingredient in the recipe for longevity.

4. Practice stress management

Stress is just a part of life—no shocker here. In short doses, it can actually be good for you (this kind of stress is called eustress, just FYI). It can give you energy and help you focus, which is great for getting things done and figuring out problems.

Now, chronic stress? That can really affect your physical and mental health. It can lead to a ton of health issues, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment, and the list goes on.

Here’s the thing, though: According to Ben Greenfield, a biohacker and trainer of Mindvalley’s The Longevity Blueprint, you can actually train your body to handle stress better by using both hot and cold temperatures to make your body more resilient. 

For example, you can use the Wim Hof Method, which focuses on cold exposure, and then jump into a sauna. If you want something simpler, Ben suggests a five-minute shower—20 seconds of cold with 10 seconds of hot.

The idea of it all? By exposing yourself to these extreme temperatures, you’re teaching your body to stay calm and collected no matter what life throws at you.

5. Get quality sleep

Sleep is where all healing happens,” Jason explains. “When you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t recover that; you can’t get it back by sleeping more the next day.”

It’s called sleep debt, where the cumulative lack of sleep builds up over time and robs you of your mental sharpness and physical vitality. Not only that, it can also affect your decision-making, cognitive function, and overall health.

The thing is, too, that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a cycle where poor sleep can cause poor decisions, which in turn can lead to more sleep deprivation. 

That’s why prioritizing sleep is crucial. And here are a few easy things Jason suggests you can do to get the quality zzz’s your body needs:

  • Set a consistent bedtime schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a restful environment. Consider using room-darkening shades, a fan, or other devices to make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Limit screen time before bed, especially if you often find yourself caught in bedtime revenge procrastination. Avoid screens for at least an hour before going to bed and choose to wind down with a relaxing activity, like reading a book or taking a warm bath, instead.

Remember, feeling rested is one thing. But by making sleep a priority, you’re giving your body the downtime it needs to repair and regenerate so that you’re ready to go the next day.

6. Reduce exposure to toxins

The word “toxins” often goes hand-in-hand with pollutants and chemicals. But what many don’t often connect it to are thoughts and emotions. 

So to truly minimize your exposure to toxins, Jason advises you to consider both the external and internal factors:

  • Externally, make conscious choices about what you consume and the products you use. Opt for organic foods and natural cleaning products. Ensure the air and water quality in your home is up to par.
  • Internally, nurture your mental and emotional health. Prioritize quality sleep, align with your natural circadian rhythms, and engage in practices that reduce stress and emotional turmoil. Additionally, simplify your diet, adopt mindful eating within specific windows, such as from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and foster healthy relationships.

As well-known physician Dr. Mark Hyman says, “The simple truth is that we are living in a sea of toxins, and it is destroying our bodies and brains.” But making these changes can significantly reduce the burden on your body.

7. Cultivate a healthy mindset

What Jason found in his filming for The Human Longevity Project is that centenarians possess an innate ability to find joy in the simple things. They have this way of keeping a hopeful outlook, regardless of circumstances. Gratitude, letting go of grudges to avoid stress, and embracing changes with courage—these all contribute to their resilience.

The reality is, for us living the fast life, we’re “way too overactive in our minds,” according to Jason. So how can you adopt a healthy mindset like a Blue Zoner?

Slowing things down, making things a little bit more simple,” he advises. Practicing mindfulness through meditation or journaling can help you appreciate life’s moments, no matter how big or small.

And by changing your thoughts about yourself and taking control of your health, you plant the seeds for a healthier life.

Live Vibrantly, Naturally

As Jason Prall reminds us, simplicity is the key to longevity. No one’s asking you to chuck out the old to make room for the new. But, instead, make small, mindful adjustments to your daily routine.

Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Snack on a fruit instead of a donut. Read a book instead of scrolling aimlessly through social media.

It’s no walk in the park, of course. So if you need help getting there, you can find it with Ben Greenfield in his Mindvalley Quest, The Longevity Blueprint. It’ll be a transformative journey, for sure, where you’ll discover not just how to add years to your life, but life to your years.

Welcome in.

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

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