Blue Zones are regions of the world with the longest-lived people. The Blue Zones Philosophy lists 9 things that are key to wellbeing and longevity, one of which is to feel a sense of belonging and to have a purpose. Socialistation and a sense of belonging is important for every human throughout life. Joining local clubs is an ideal way to meet new people, form new friendships, find a sense of purpose and become part of a community of like-minded folk.
Joining a club, group or sports team can help many people get a new lease of life and feel reinvigorated. Retirement is a time where most of us can choose how we spend our time and where we channel our energy. Being part of a club, be it bowls, birdwatching, gardening or golf, is good for the brain. The brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes and learning new skills can help to do exactly that.
Being part of a club can be the key to forming long-lasting friendships – another component that is important to longevity. The folk in the Blue Zones believe that having the ‘right tribe’ that supports healthy behaviour is vital to wellbeing. Interestingly, research from the Framingham Studies shows that happiness is contagious so by being around positive, motivated and purpose-filled people will undoubtedly affect you in a positive way.
Group activities are not limited to sports and purely recreational pursuits. There are many clubs and organisations out there which do goodwill work and help to uplift people in a community. A faith-based organisation like a church is good for you, and which denomination or faith really doesn’t matter. Research reveals that attending a faith-based event or service as little as 4 times in a month can add from 4 to 14 years to your life. A sense of purpose can come from worshipping one’s creator and practicing one’s faith; it can also come from knowing that what you are doing, through goodwill or volunteer work, is helping to do good for others.
Joining a club can be the key to living better as it helps one to feel like they belong and that they have a sense of purpose; both of which can positively impact longevity and wellbeing.