Ave Maria Achieves Blue Zones Certification
It’s a prestigious honor, and already several Southwest Florida communities have achieved Blue Zones certification. The Blue Zones Project first launched about eight years ago in this part of Florida, and aims to encourage a healthier lifestyle, which can potentially lead to longevity.
With the Blue Zones Project, local residents and businesses work together to focus on shared goals leading to a higher quality of life. Recently Ave Maria joined the list by achieving Blue Zones Community Certification of its own.
Ave Maria did so by adopting what’s referred to as Power 9. This is a set of common principles which focuses on things such as better eating, spending quality time with others, exercising, and de-stressing.
Ave Maria is a master-planned town with amenities, planned events and activities, outdoor recreation, and a Town Center. Because of the overall design of the town, people are encouraged to get out and enjoy the many walking paths on foot or to ride a bike to visit some of the shops and area restaurants.
There are amenities that focus on group exercise and workouts, plus there are also some healthy eating options in Ave Maria. In addition, there are planned activities that help locals connect with each other.
Ave Maria may be a recent addition, but it’s not the only Southwest Florida community that’s achieved Blue Zones Community certification. Naples, Bonita Springs, Immokalee, Golden Gate, Estero, Marco Island, and East Naples have also met the certification standards.
They are collectively the first in Florida and the first in the southeastern section of the United States. NCH Healthcare System first brought the initiative to Southwest Florida to encourage local organizations, leaders, and volunteers to work together for the common good.
It’s thought by working together, the region is helping to improve its well-being with fewer ER visits and a reduction in healthcare costs. The Blue Zones Project reports more people are exercising regularly and fewer are using tobacco, among other healthy lifestyle choices.