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Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

Here are just a few of the secrets to a (potentially) long life: Don’t cancel your BFF hangs, stay on top of your chores, eat aged cheese, and maybe bathe less. Or, if you ask residents of one town in California, consider a vegetarian lifestyle.

Ever heard of  a “blue zone”? It’s a community with an exceptionally high concentration of residents 100 years and older. There are only a few of these communities in the world, and Loma Linda, located in Southern California, is the only one in the United States. The picturesque town has an average male life expectancy of 89 and a female life expectancy of 91, which the Los Angeles Times claims is 10 years greater than the national average. What gives?

Thrillist reports the town’s increased life expectancy likely has a lot to do with resident adherence to the Seventh-day Adventist faith and the healthy lifestyle it promotes. Adventists tend to make healthy lifestyle choices, as they believe health and faith are related. Furthermore, Adventist teachings dictate that followers abstain from smoking and eating meat and also exercise regularly.

Studies have shown that not only do Adventists live longer than most Americans, but diseases and cancer affect them at a lower rate. “Adventists finally succumb to all of the same problems as anyone else, and what their way of life does is put it off by several years,” Gary Fraser, MD, who is currently conducting a study on 100,000 Adventists, told Thrillist.

Though meat has most recently come under scrutiny for its environmental impact, eating too much of it can also lead to diseases like diabetes. So whether or not you’re going full paleo-vegan, vegetarian, or just participating in meatless Monday, you can also think of curbing meat intake as a longevity exercise.

Either way you split it, anti-aging is out and in its place is a new focus on longevity.

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