2017-05-02 / Front Page

Extension News, aging into the blue zones

By Jennifer Cannon, M.S. CHES Extension Educator

In today’s society, we have captured the beauty of aging through media, print, storytelling, and much more. We are exposed to the beauty of aging through many different perspectives. While the definition of beauty is different to each individual, the art of aging is very intriguing and informative. Research finds that many of the practices/customs we experience in the US around aging are different from those in Blue Zone areas. Blue zones being the areas of the world with some of the longest-lived people who seem to avoid many of the diseases that kill Americans today.

In fact, I would like to introduce you to a man named Stamatis. Stamatis was a man who sought medical treatment in the United States for lung cancer after he suffered an accident. While undergoing treatment in the United States, doctors gave him a life expectancy of four years. So factoring in the cost of aging, funeral arrangements, and other pertinent details, he decided to travel back to his hometown of Ikaria, Greece for a peaceful home going. However, while in Ikaria the unexpected occurred. He began to reconnect with friends, family, and his religion, and he began to get better. His lifestyle and dietary started to change whereas over time he became cancer-free, and aged to see over one hundred years of age. With this astonishing information, researchers began to explore the lifestyles of those living in Blue Zones areas, and how their lifestyles differ from those in the United States.

Being a researcher on this topic, I studied and recently visited the Island of Ikaria, Greece to examine healthy aging in hopes of learning best practices to adapt in the United States. To learn such material, I met with doctors, families of centurions (individuals living to be one hundred plus), and a host of neighbors and community members living on the Island. In talking with each individual, they all shared something unique in its own way as it relates to aging. Information that I would like to share this information with all of you. So please join me in my upcoming program entitled “ Blue Zone, New Key: Healthy Tips to Aging Based on Ikaria studies”. This program will take place on Tuesday, May 16 @ 5:00 PM, Purdue Extension Office. The Program is free of charge; however, we ask you register by calling (765) 653-8411 no later than Wednesday, May 10. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Cannon at the number above.

Visit our homepage at www.extension. purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to make contact first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/ equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

May 2 – Putnam County Master Gardener Monthly Meeting

May 3 – Camp Counselor Training 4-H Camp, Fairgrounds, 5-8 pm

May 4 – Putnam 4-H Junior Leaders, Fairgrounds, 7-8 pm

May 11 - Gardener Gatherings: Composting & Soil Amendments, Extension Office, 6:30-7:30 PM, Register at 765-653-8411

May 13 – 3rd Annual Plant Auction sponsored by the Putnam Co. Master Gardeners, Fairgrounds, Auction starts at 10 AM

May 13 – Putnam 4-H Sheep/Goat Tag Retinal Scan, Fairgrounds, 8 am - Noon

May 15 – Livestock enrollment deadline for 4-H animals

May 16- Healthy Aging Program, Purdue Extension Office, 5pm

June 13 – Electricity Workshop for 4-Hers, Harris Hall, 9 am – Noon

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