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Achieving true vitality in your retirement

30th January 2024

What is the key to a long, healthy and happy life? Surely there is no straightforward answer – if there was, we’d all be doing it! But this is what was revealed in Dan Buettner’s recent popular docuseries, ‘Secrets of the Blue Zones’. The explorer and journalist has dedicated his career to studying populations around the world boasting the most centenarians – and understanding the behaviours enabling people in these areas to live better and live longer.

The common lifestyle denominators among the populations are, in fact, simple. They include: moving regularly and naturally, shedding stress by taking time for relaxing routines, adopting a positive and purposeful outlook, eating well and spending time daily with like-minded friends.

These are all habits encouraged by the unique environment at each of ERL’s retirement villages – Mount Battenhall in Worcester, The Red House in Ripon and Boughton Hall in Chester. ERL aim to create places where friendships can form and flourish, with opportunities to keep active as well as rest and relax.

Excellent social facilities and a varied calendar of events make for a real sense of community where no two days need be the same. ERL’s residents can connect over lunch or coffee, attend a cookery course, take part in quizzes and crafts, or indulge in a glass or two of wine at the bar – after all, the Blue Zone Sardinians end the day with a Happy Hour!

There are many options for low intensity, enjoyable exercise and a dose of the great outdoors, with acres of green space within every village. Take a peaceful woodland walk, stroll around beautifully landscaped gardens, arrange a game of croquet or spend time in the allotments – access to fresh, organic food being an additional benefit praised by these healthy communities. For those looking to pick up the pace, the villages all boast a well-equipped gym.

The properties themselves provide luxurious and calming spaces in which to unwind, with expertly designed interiors and a contemporary high quality, low maintenance specification. One unexpected discovery of the Blue Zones study is the direct connection between steep landscapes and the long lives of their inhabitants. In short, taking the stairs is good for us! Along with a range of apartments, The Red House provides a selection of charming two bedroom cottages, and Mount Battenhall’s stunning Grade II Listed Gatehouse is set over three storeys. All offer comfort and convenience while maintaining an active daily lifestyle.

The prevailing message from Dan Buettner’s documentary is the importance of an enriching environment in achieving a long, fulfilled and joyful life, and ERL’s retirement villages provide all the ingredients to make this possible.

Lady enjoying a healthy lifestyle at The Red House in Ripon