Flexing Muscles: 70 Strong

Several years ago and approaching 60, Lee Michelson sat in a large conference room contemplating aging, health and longevity as he listened to a fascinating presentation with 200 other California healthcare district executives.

The talk: “Blue Zones.”

Blue Zones are those rare communities where residents live healthier and longer lives, the result of nine factors that include good food and close community ties. Loma Linda is one of only a handful of Blue Zones worldwide, with its tight-knit Seventh-day Adventist community that emphasizes a vegetarian diet free from alcohol and other mind-altering substances.

Coincidentally, residents in Blue Zones are also among the happiest anywhere.

So Michelson had an idea. He decided to create a Blue Zone within the Sequoia Healthcare District where he serves as CEO.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the area features an aging populous that mirrors the rest of San Mateo County, where 70 and older is the fastest growing demographic.

Michelson knew there were already plenty of resources available for older adults – everything from exercise classes to energy assistance – but finding them was often impossible.

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