More than 250 residents in the Naples, Fla., community have signed the Blue Zones pledge to be proactive in their daily lifestyles and choose healthier options. The project incorporates principles that have been observed in communities with great longevity, including eating a plant-slant diet, moving naturally, having a sense of purpose, belonging to a social group, and more.
Vanderbilt Country Club in Naples, Fla., is among the latest communities to join the longevity campaign of the Blue Zones Project, the Naples (Fla.) Daily News reported.
More than 250 residents in the community of condominiums, villas and estate homes signed the Blue Zones pledge to be proactive in their daily lifestyle to choose healthier options, the News reported.
“There are 800 units and we had to get 25% of the unit (owners) to sign up,” said Jerry Petrarca, President of the Board.
Since a ribbon cutting April 11 to celebrate becoming a participating organization, the number of resident signing the pledge has increased beyond the 250. “It did seem fairly easy to get to that point,” he said.
The Blue Zones project is based on the world travels of Dan Buettner, who identified communities worldwide where people share traits of great longevity. The “Power Nine” principles include eating a plant-slant diet, moving naturally by walking, biking or similar activity, having a sense of purpose, limiting alcohol intake, putting family first, belonging to a social group and more, the News reported.
The club has hosted workshops to inform people what the project is about, worked with the chef to create healthier menu items, created walking groups and other undertakings, the News reported.
“We didn’t take away their cheeseburgers,” Petrarca said. “There’s a bigger variety of salads, fruits and vegetables.”
So far, the project is focused on residents, where most are retirees, but there are people in their late 30s. The country club has golf, tennis and a fitness center so being physically active is something that residents pursue. “We do plan to get to employees [to take the pledge],” he said.
The club also has a program that focuses on residents getting involved and helping each other in times of need, it is involved in Relay for Life, the cancer-fundraiser, St. Matthew’s House homeless shelter and other initiatives. The NCH Healthcare System is spearheading a long-term campaign over the next 10 years for Southwest Florida to earn a Blue Zones designation, which involves making enough changes in neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, grocery stores, churches, restaurants and other settings where people can choose healthier options and it becomes the easy and natural choice, the News reported.