Letter from the Publisher: RETHINKING FITNESS


So many of us are concerned about fitness that when surveyed, most say that being fit is important. But only a small percentage actually pursue health and fitness on a daily basis while so many of us are more overweight and less fit than we’d like to be.

But when it comes to health and fitness, what’s the bottom line of what’s most important and how can we pay attention to that?

Well over a decade ago Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times best selling author, along with a team of medical researchers and anthropologists, began a study of unique places throughout the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives, often dying peacefully in their sleep with many of them over 100!

Five locations around the world including Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California were identified as these exceptional areas of health and longevity and were called “The Blue Zones.”

After authenticating the longevity of the residents of these diverse locations further studies were conducted to determine what they might share in common and what we might learn from them.

While there were disparities such as that some were tea-totalers, some drank alcohol, some were vegetarians, some were pescatarians, and some were carnivores, there were some elements they all shared in common — they all walked — a lot!

As they aged they all were very social. They remained engaged in their communities, often taking on new jobs and doing new and interesting things on a daily basis. Older people were respected, valued and revered in these cultures. And to their dying day, they lived with a sense of purpose and meaning.

Diet-wise, they all ate LOTS of leafy greens and herbs, some with mineral content far beyond what might be available in the average supermarket. And those among them who did eat meat used it more as a condiment and ate it infrequently.

Along these lines, studies were done to determine the happiest and therefore perhaps the healthiest cities in the United States — 25 cities were identified as having walkability, access to nature, and a real sense of community.

I am happy to report that Fort Collins came in at Number 4 (you don’t want to know which city came in at Number 1).

I highly recommend any of the several books written about The Blue Zones including an upcoming cookbook by Dan Buettner called: THE BLUE ZONES KITCHEN: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, publication date: December 3, 2019 — this might make a good holiday gift for friends and family.

And I’m sure you’ll want to check out a very special event happening here in Fort Collins this coming Saturday, September 21, 2019, 8am to 3pm — the Fort Collins Fitness Festival with over 30 related events throughout the City, some free and some ticketed.

For a full schedule of events check out this link:



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Blaine Howerton


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