After attending an “Our Island, Our Future” meeting, I am glad that we are planning ahead.
One cornerstone of any planning should be the health and happiness of the community. There is strong evidence that healthy lifestyle behaviors, from exercise to spirituality, from sleep to purpose, from nutrition to stress management, significantly improve the health of a community. In the “blue zones,” parts of the world where these behaviors are the norm, rates of major diseases are incredibly low and the community, vibrant and happy.
Fortunately, we have been left a legacy that would make it relatively easy and inexpensive to ensure that Hilton Head Island was a brain-healthy community if not a blue zone. Natural beauty, a good culture of fitness, a potentially sustainable and healthy environment, many spiritual and religious offerings, a culture of volunteerism and opportunities for social and mental stimulation, to name just a few.
Taking steps to ensure that we could be classified as such would not be expensive and mostly require increasing educational and training opportunities and drawing on existing resources.
For example, we have in our midst Hilton Head Health, one of the leading lifestyle training facilities in the world, and access to the leading minds in the lifestyle-as-medicine movement. Moreover, a global swing toward a focus on healthy lifestyle in medicine is likely as the research continues to overwhelmingly show that adopting a healthy lifestyle is the answer to many medical ailments and preferable to symptomatic, pharmacological relief.
Hilton Head Island