Demographic researchers have identified five geographic regions around the world with unusually high proportions of nonagenarians and centenarians. Studies of these longevity hotspots or "blue zones" are now trying to distill lessons for how people everywhere can live long and active lives with minimal impediments. In this study, I compare lifestyle observations and longevity prescriptions derived from studies of blue zone centenarians with long-standing recommendations for the practice of nourishing life (yangsheng) to achieve a long and healthy life in the Daoist tradition. Observing a high degree of similarity across the four lifestyle domains of diet, exercise, mindset, and relationships, I find blue zone recommendations for successful aging closely resemble and seemingly validate many longstanding Daoist prescriptions for advancing human health and longevity. I conclude that although blue zone residents may not be consciously Daoist, they seem to represent unselfconscious models of Daoist living.


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pp. 128-151
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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