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Vail Health’s mission is to elevate health across our mountain communities. More specifically, Vail Health aims to help you and your loved ones live longer, healthier and happier lives. 

As a comprehensive healthcare system, we combine the expertise of primary and specialty care to diagnose and treat medical conditions early on. Vail Health's Shaw Cancer Center is the region’s only fully accredited cancer treatment center, and our Surgical Associates are experts in general, laparoscopic, robotic and trauma surgery. Howard Head Sports Medicine’s physical therapists work closely with our internationally renowned orthopaedic partners at The Steadman Clinic and Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery to ensure your bones, joints and soft tissue keep up with your active lifestyle. Vail Health is also leading the way in serving our communities' behavioral health needs with outpatient behavioral health services and an in-patient behavioral health facility, opening in 2025.

Many factors contribute to a person’s health span. They include genetics, environment and, most importantly, lifestyle. 

Genetics

While we cannot affect genetics, Colorado Mountain Medical’s primary care team is dedicated to identifying risk factors through annual wellness visits and recommended screenings. Shaw Cancer Center’s genetic counselor can also screen for genetic risk variants. Our providers make personalized recommendations to mitigate risks and help you live your best life.

Environment

A four-year study by researchers at the University of Colorado showed that living at 5,000 feet elevation or higher might increase lifespan. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that, of the 20 counties with the longest-living populations, 15 were located in Colorado and Utah. It cited Colorado as not only the highest state in the nation but also the leanest and fittest, with the fewest deaths from heart disease and a lower incidence of colon and lung cancer, as compared to other states.

Lifestyle

Diet, exercise and other daily lifestyle choices contribute to a longer, healthier life. The Blue Zones Solution is a bestselling book by Dan Buettner, who has studied the world's regions with the greatest populations of centenarians (people over 100 years old). While the “Blue Zones” span from Italy and Greece to Japan, Costa Rica and Loma Linda, California, the people who live in these areas share common diets and exercise habits. First, they eat a Mediterranean-style diet that is 95% plant-based. They also subscribe to healthy life habits Buettner refers to as the “Power 9.” They include:
  1. Natural movement: Movement is a way of life, from walking to work to transporting water from a well. Movement is part of daily life and contributes to cardiovascular health, strength and stamina. 
  2. Purpose: Studies have shown that having a sense of purpose in life can increase physical and mental health, thereby adding years to your lifespan. 
  3. Stress management: Whether it’s meditation, a siesta or a walk on the beach, people in the Blue Zones find ways to de-stress on a routine basis.
  4. Eat less: People in the Blue Zones regions don’t overeat, and they often eat their smallest and last meal of the day in the late afternoon/early evening, a dietary pattern used in a newer trend called intermittent fasting. 
  5. Eat more plants: Meat is rarely eaten, and if so, only in small quantities. Instead, people in these areas opt for beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unprocessed ancient grains. They avoid processed foods and snacks, which are linked to diseases like diabetes and cancer. 
  6. A glass of wine daily: Moderate drinkers (one drink for women, two for men) are shown to outlive non-drinkers in these areas.
  7. Faith: Most centenarians in the Blue Zones belong to a faith-based community and attend services regularly.
  8. Family first: Aging parents and grandparents live in the home or near the younger generations. They commit to a life partner, which has been shown to add up to three years to life expectancy. 
  9. Community: Studies show that strong social connections contribute to longevity.

Longevity Retreat

Join Vail Health this June for a week-long Longevity Retreat in beautiful Costa Rica, led by a team of experts who are knowledgeable and passionate about wellness, physical fitness, nutrition, behavioral health and simply getting the most out of life. Guided by each participant’s personal goals and evidence-based research, Vail Health’s longevity experts have created a one-of-a-kind, integrative adventure towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Upcoming Retreat Dates:
  •  June 15 – 22, 2024
  • October 19 – 26, 2024
  • October 26 – November 2, 2024 
LEARN MORE >    BOOK NOW >

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