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National Geographic fellow speaks Thursday about how to live to 100
Adventurer and author Dan Buettner talks about his new book "The Blue Zones" at his home Friday April 11, 2008 on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. In his book Buettner identifies four hot spots on the globe which he calls "Blue Zones" that have people living healthy in their 90's and 100's. He spent seven years researching and traveling to the four "Blue Zones" and reveals their common characteristics and how readers can add healthy years to their own lives. - photo by DAWN VILLELLA

Blue Zone Community Summit

When: 7 p.m. April 21

Where: Brenau Downtown Center, 301 Main St. SW, Gainesville

How much: $25 per person


More info:

There are five little pockets in this world — some big cities and others remote islands where human beings are 10 times more likely to live to be 100.

These places are called Blue Zones, and National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner wants to share their secrets with the people of Gainesville.

Buettner will speak at a Blue Zone Community Summit at 7 p.m. April 21 at the Brenau Downtown Center on Main Street in Gainesville.

The event is an initiative of the health care committee of Vision 2030, said Elizabeth Higgins, executive director of Vision 2030, a community program for Gainesville and Hall County created by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. Buettner is a New York Times best-selling author.

Buettner’s National Geographic expeditions led him to these five locations with remarkably high longevity: Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, Calif.; the Italian island of Sardinia, the Greek island Ikaria and Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula.

“He found these areas in the world where people were living healthier, longer and to be 100, normally,” Higgins said. “He and a team from National Geographic put together nine common approaches to live healthier and longer, specifically what these people do to live to be 100. He’s coming to speak to Gainesville about it and how we can incorporate it into our community.”

These nine “Blue Zone common denominators” or tips include: Move naturally, have a purpose, eat more plants, drink more wine, belong to a faith and more.

Buettner has delivered thousands of speeches worldwide, sharing what he believes are the best strategies for longevity and happiness based on his observations in the five Blue Zones.

The Gainesville summit is titled “9 to THRIVE: Learn to Live Better & Longer" and is open to the public.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Vision 2030 program was initiated in 2005 to create a clear plan for the future of Gainesville and Hall County. Higgins said Buettner’s message fits perfectly into the healthy aims of the program.

“These nine things are really normal things,” she said. “And utilizing these resources that we have in Hall County can help you live longer, happier and healthier.”

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