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Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
September 1, 2023 ·  5 min read

New Netflix Docuseries Reveals Secrets Of How to Live to 100

Most of us are all trying to do the same thing: Live a happy, fulfilling life that is hopefully as long as possible, provided we are in good health the entire time. To achieve this, many of us have turned to supplements, rigorous exercise regimes, and different kinds of diets. Documentary maker Dan Buettner decided to find out what helps people live long, healthy lives. Twenty years ago, he set out around the globe to visit our planet’s “blue zones” – the places with the highest number of people living 100 years old or more. Two decades later, this is what he discovered.

Secrets of the Blue Zones: Netflix Doc Reveals How We Should All Be Living to 100

Netflix’s “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” is a docuseries that takes viewers on a journey around the world. The purpose is to study the lifestyles of those living in regions where people commonly live to age 100 and beyond. These so-called Blue Zones are regions where the average lifespan of the population is much higher than the global average. The documentary focuses on areas in Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; and Okinawa, Japan. The documentary provides insight into the diets, lifestyles, and cultures of Blue Zone inhabitants to reveal what contributes to their longevity. In addition to the series, Buettner is releasing a book called The Blue Zone Secrets for Living Longer.

“The book brings up-to-date insights on all the five Blue Zones…and identifies a Blue Zone 2.0, Singapore, which is an intentionally engineered Blue Zone instead of one that just occurs naturally,” Buettner told Forks Over Knives. “Sixty years ago Singapore was an unhealthy island. It’s now become one of the healthiest, longest-lived places on Earth. They’ve done it because of good policies. It’s a proof of concept that if you create the right environment, people live measurably longer with a fraction of the rate of the diseases that cost us trillions of dollars a year in America.” (1)

The Blue Zones

The Blue Zones are regions that were first identified by Dan Buettner through research conducted with National Geographic and the National Institute on Aging. The regions share a few key characteristics: people in Blue Zones eat plant-based diets with limited intake of meat and processed food. They engage in regular physical activity – not in a gym per se, but as a regular part of their lives. Finally, they have strong social networks and support systems.

The regions mentioned in the documentary share these characteristics but also have their own unique factors. For example, in Nicoya, Costa Rica, people lead active lifestyles that include manual labor and walking, while Okinawa, Japan, has a culture of community support and a diet rich in vegetables and tofu.

“The essence of Blue Zones is people live a long time not because of the things we think — they’re not on diets, they’re not on exercise programs, they don’t take supplements,” Buettner told CBS News. “They don’t pursue health, which is a big disconnect in America, because we think health is something that needs to be pursued.” (2)

Though many argue that there are factors out of our control, such as genetics, Buettner says that this is not fully true. We actually have a lot more power over our longevity than we may think.

“I would argue that 20% of it is genes, 10% of it is personal choices, 10% of it is the health care system, and the remaining 60% is your environment,” says Buettner. “There are areas in Kentucky where life expectancy is 20 years less than Boulder, Colorado. In both cases you have a diverse set of genes and a spectrum of people who take responsibility for their health. The only thing that’s different is that it’s much easier to walk or bike across town in Boulder than it is to drive your car. It’s a food environment where you can get delicious plant-based meals much easier than you can in Kentucky. It’s easier to socialize, it’s easier to get out in nature, and the air is cleaner. These are all environmental factors which we vastly underestimate in the formula for longevity.”

Creating Blue Zones in our own lives

While moving to a Blue Zone region may not be feasible for everyone, creating a Blue Zone-like lifestyle within your own environment is possible. Here are some tips for creating your own mini Blue Zone (3):

  1. Eat a Plant-Based Diet: Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and limited amounts of meat and processed foods. This can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It also ensures that you are receiving all of the nutrients you need in whole-food form.
  2. Maintain Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise, even if it’s just a daily walk or bike ride, can help increase lifespan and reduce the risk of chronic disease. This doesn’t have to be long or overly vigorous and doesn’t require expensive gym memberships. While gyms can be beneficial, the more of your daily exercise you can do outside, the better off you will be.
  3. Stay Connected with Others: Building strong social relationships has been shown to increase lifespan and overall well-being. Joining clubs or groups with shared interests can help you meet new people and build new connections. Try getting to know your neighbors, call your friend instead of texting, and be more open to getting to know the people around you.
  4. Reduce Stress: Stress can negatively impact both physical and mental health. Taking time to practice stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help keep stress levels under control. Set boundaries for yourself and maintain them.
  5. Prioritize Sleep: Getting adequate rest is essential for optimal health and longevity. Prioritize sleep by establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Of course, sometimes you’re out with friends or family, and your sleep pattern and routine goes out the window. This is also perfectly okay, as long as you are generally sleeping well.

The Bottom Line

The “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” docuseries is a fascinating insight into regions worldwide where people commonly live to age 100 and beyond. While we may not all be able to move to a Blue Zone, we can create our own mini Blue Zone by adopting lifestyle changes that prioritize healthy eating, physical activity, social connections, and stress management. By implementing these changes, we can all live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

Keep Reading: Identical Twins Trailed a Vegan Diet Vs. Omnivorous Diet


  1. New Netflix Docuseries ‘Secrets of the Blue Zones’ Reveals How to Live to 100.” Forks Over Knives. Megan Edwards.  
  2. Want to live to 100? “Blue Zones” expert shares longevity lessons in new Netflix series.” CBS News. Sara Moniuszko. August 2023.
  3. Blue Zones Diet: Food Secrets of the World’s Longest-Lived People.” Blue Zones. Dan Buettner.