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Add Years to Your Life: Sign up for the 'AARP(R)/Blue Zones(R) Vitality Project' to Be a Part of '6 Weeks to Longevity' Kicking off on September 8th
Date:9/1/2009

Visit AARP.org/BlueZonesProject to Sign Up, Take the Vitality Compass and Learn the Secrets to Living Longer, Better

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- People don't want to just live longer; they want to live healthier and more purposeful lives. Now, through the AARP(R)/Blue Zones(R) Vitality Project sponsored by United Health Foundation, people from across America will have the opportunity to add healthy years to their lives by joining the project at AARP.org/BlueZonesProject and signing up for the "6 Weeks to Longevity," which kicks off on September 8, 2009.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070209/NYF043LOGO)

One small town, Albert Lea, Minn., has been working hard since January 2009 to prove that by making a few simple changes, a community can add years and purpose to its residents' lives. Now, others can join the last six weeks of the unprecedented AARP(R)/Blue Zones(R) Vitality Project and learn easy ways to strive for additional good, healthy years of life.

All participants registered for the AARP(R)/Blue Zones(R) Vitality Project will be a part of the "6 Weeks to Longevity" initiative. The six-week online experience will include a comprehensive lifestyle makeover, with each week focusing on a key area of attaining longevity.

"By staying active and living with purpose, AARP's 40 million members demonstrate every day that age is not a defining number," said Nancy Graham, Editor of AARP The Magazine. "This collaboration is a unique opportunity to show America that they have a say in determining how many good years they will have in their lives, and offers them the tools to extend that time."

The "6 Weeks to Longevity" will focus on:

Week 1 Live Longer, Better - Introducing Blue Zones and the Vitality Compass

Week 2 Creating Your Longevity Circle - Creating and improving your social networks

Week 3 Rethinking How You Eat - Making food choices that will extend your longevity

Week 4 Mindless Moving - Build physical activity and movement into your everyday life

Week 5 Finding Purpose - Identifying your life's purpose can also extend it

Week 6 Making Your Community Healthier - Changing your community's walkability, bikeability and food options can encourage good behaviors

"Improving health is not just about what we eat and how much we move." said Dan Buettner, founder of Blue Zones. "Albert Lea residents have learned that it's about who we hang out with, about having strong social networks and about an entire community effort. Now it is time to teach America those same lessons."

To get involved in the AARP(R)/Blue Zones(R) Vitality Project go to AARP.org/BlueZonesProject and take the Vitality Compass(R) - an interactive tool that measures an individual's projected life expectancy based on current behaviors. Additionally, the site will provide the number of extra years people can add to their lives if they optimize their lifestyle. Participants can then enroll in the Vitality Coach(R), which offers personalized emails to help them make healthy changes to their habits.

"The United Health Foundation supports projects that can strengthen the health of a community, while actively engaging its citizens," said Daniel Johnson, Executive Director of the United Health Foundation. "The AARP(R)/Blue Zones(R) Vitality Project is one way that individuals can take a novel and innovative approach to improving health through small, meaningful changes."

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin and AARP Bulletin Today, the go-to daily news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication and multimedia brand dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our Web site, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About Blue Zones

Founded by Dan Buettner as an ongoing project that is part of Quest Network, Inc., Blue Zones(R) studies the world's longest-lived populations for wellness information and lifestyle management tools that can help Americans live longer, healthier lives. For each Blue Zones(R) expedition, Buettner and his award-winning team journey to a specific region whose population is reaching age 100 at an extraordinarily high rate. These longevity hotspots are called "Blue Zones(R)." Buettner and his team of scientists identify and study the regions' common threads in lifestyle behavior, diet, outlook and stress-coping mechanisms. Through this ongoing study, Blue Zones(R) has developed a formula of the world's best practices in healthy longevity that people can put to work in their own lives. In short, Buettner aims to help everyone live within their personal "Blue Zone." Buettner's research and his insight into enhancing longevity has been published in his New York Times bestselling book, THE BLUE ZONES: Lessons for Living Longer by the People Who've Lived the Longest, which was published by National Geographic Book in 2008. Partially funded by the National Institutes on Health, Blue Zones(R) is advised by an internationally-recognized panel of academic and scientific experts on the topic, and supported by the National Geographic Expeditions Council. For more information, visit www.bluezones.com.

About the United Health Foundation

Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well being of communities. The Foundation also provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. Since established by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not for profit private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $160 million to improve health and health care. For more information, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.


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SOURCE AARP
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