Next Albert Lea magazine is Blue Zones-focused

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Last week, we finished our May/June issue of Albert Lea magazine and sent it off to the printer.

At a time when much national focus has returned to the Blue Zones and its founder Dan Buettner, it’s exciting to have a magazine focused on what Albert Lea is doing with the Blue Zones Project in town.

We’ve all heard about the Blue Zones Project and may even be involved on some level, but this magazine gave us the opportunity to put a face to some of the initiatives that are taking place in the community and that are gaining such a fuss on the national level.

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Blue Zones first came to Albert Lea in 2009. Our city — of all other cities in the country and the world — was selected to be the home of a pilot project.

The project aimed to implement some of Buettner’s research from across the world from areas he calls Blue Zones — where people are living the longest and healthiest lives.

Albert Lea proved to the rest of the world that through policy and environmental change, it is possible to extend life and make healthier lifestyles.

I jumped on board the Blue Zones bus at that time and gained a respect for Buettner and his research, so I was pleased to hear last fall that Blue Zones was returning to Albet Lea.

I have been a part of it to a lesser scale this time around, but I have been excited to hear the successes of others as they change their lives.

Last month, our photographer Colleen Harrison and I spent the evening with a potluck moai, a group that gets together once a month at each other’s homes and shares healthy recipes and fellowship.

This sure was a fun group, and I enjoyed seeing the friendships that were formed from those get-togethers.

I joined a potluck moai of my own last fall, and I have seen similar friendships and support formed in my own group.

While I knew a few of my group members before we started, there were a few I had never met. I never thought I would actually have fun eating with a group of other people I didn’t know well, but I have! And it has been inspiring to be around people who have positive health goals and to just be able to support each other.

I consider these other women in my group my friends and I look forward each month to the time that we meet.

Our sports editor delved into the issue of moving naturally, which is definitely something I could work on more.

He interviewed Albert Lea native Lori Ashleson who stays fit by walking her therapy dog, Willie.

Ashleson proves that you don’t have to run marathons or  pump iron to have a healthy lifestyle.

Ashleson and Willie also spread cheer by visiting residents at St. John’s Lutheran Community, Thorne Crest Retirement Community and Oak park Place.

I don’t want to give away too much, so I will stop right there.

I hope you enjoy this issue. It comes out next week.

Please let us know your feedback. Tribune Special Sections Editor Hannah Dillon is now the magazine editor, so if you have any comments, you can give her a call. Her number is 379-3439.


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears each Tuesday. She can be reached at or 379-3435.