We all have our theories on what it takes to live a longer life. Is it exercise? Is it simply eating healthy? Some say eat and do whatever you want, just live a stress-free life. Everyone has their own suggestions, however one doctor has his own list, and he had his age to prove it. Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, credited with building the foundations of Japanese medicine and helping make Japan the world leader in longevity, lived to the ripe old age of 105.
Working as a physician, chairman emeritus of St. Luke’s International University, and honorary president of St. Luke’s International Hospital was interviewed before his passing and he offered several guidelines for living a long healthy life.
Don’t retire. And if you must, retire much later than age 65. That’s an interesting observation by him as we discussed in a previous blog that people are actually extending their retirement ages. Keeping busy is key to a happy life, but what are some other tips he had to offer? Below are some of his suggestions pulled from that same interview…
- Worry less about eating well or getting more sleep and have fun. “We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”
- If you want to live long, don’t be overweight. “For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.”
- Don’t blindly follow what your doctor says. “When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.”
- To conquer pain, have fun. “Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.”
- Always take the stairs and carry your own belongings. “I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.”
What are your thoughts? How many of the above suggestions have you already taken into account?