How to Live to 105
I saw this article today - by Tom Popomaronis at cnbc.com - and had to share it because it's so interesting and valuable.
Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, a Japanese physician and longevity expert lived until the age of 105.
Before he died in 2017, he wrote a book: "Living Long, Living Good" which offered advice on how to live a long life.
Some of his recommendations are rather unconventional...
1. Don’t Retire. But if You Must, Do So Later Than Age 65.
The average retirement age in the U.S. is around 65.
But today Dr. Hinohara explained, people are living longer. The life expectancy in the U.S. now is 78.9 years (+ 14 years) and therefore we should retire later in life.
Dr. Hinohara practiced what he preached: Until a few months before his death, he continued to treat patients - at the age of 105 - and often worked 18 hours a day (!)
2. Take The Stairs and Keep Your Weight in Check.
Hinohara emphasized the importance of regular exercise. “I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving,” he said.
Additionally, he carried his own luggage and gave 150 lectures a year (speaking for 60 - 90 minutes) all done standing up, he said, “to stay strong.”
Keeping your weight in check is also important, because obesity is one of the most significant risk factors for increased morbidity and mortality.
Dr. Hinohara’s diet was spartan: “For breakfast, I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Lunch is milk and a few cookies (now we're talking :) or nothing when I am too busy” he continued. “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 (0.22 pounds) of lean meat.”
Now, that is a lean diet - - - (hopefully a pizza now and then - and maybe some cake - is okay also)!
3. Find a Purpose That Keeps You Busy.
Not having an active schedule is a sure way to age faster and die sooner, Dr. Hinohara said. But, it’s important to stay busy and also be involved with activities that serve a purpose.
He said: "Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”
4. Rules are Stressful; Try to Relax Them.
(I completely understand this, maybe because I'm 1/2 Italian).
“We all remember how, as children, when we were having fun, we would forget to eat or sleep” he said. “I believe we can keep that same attitude as adults — it is best not to tire the body with too many rules.”
Richard Overton, one of America’s oldest-surviving World War II veterans, would have most likely agreed. Right up until his death at age 112, smoked cigars, drank whiskey, and ate fried food and ice cream daily.
Dr. Hinohara might not have approved of Overton’s diet, but Overton did credit his longevity to maintaining a “stress-free life and keeping busy.”
5. Remember That Doctors Can’t Cure Everything.
Hinohara cautioned against always taking the doctor’s advice. When a test or surgery was recommended, he would suggest: “Ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure.”
He continued: "Science alone can’t help people. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.”
"Have fun” he would say. “Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it."
6. Find Inspiration, Joy and Peace in Art.
Instead of trying to fight death, Dr. Hinohara found peace through art. He credited that contentment and philosophy toward life to a poem written by Robert Browning, called "Abt Vogler" - and especially these lines:
There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound;
What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven a perfect round.
“My father used to read it to me,” Dr. Hinohara recalled. “It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision, but it is there in the distance.”
Very wise words from a wise man.
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