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105-year-old Japanese doctor reveals the secret of a long life

Shigeaki Hinohara, who with his advice has made a significant contribution to the fact that people in Japan are getting the oldest, also stuck to his tips himself.

In an interview with Judit Kawaguchi of the Japan Times, the medical doctor and honorary president of St. Luke’s International Hospital gave some tips for a long, healthy life. One of them: does not retire. If you have to, it will be much later than when you were 65.

In the interview, he explained that the retirement age in Japan was set at 65 when the average life expectancy was 68 years. Now, however, people are living much longer - the average life expectancy in 2015 rose to almost 84 years - and should therefore also retire later.

As the "New York Times" reports, Hinohara treated patients five months before his death on July 18, 2017 and created an appointment calendar for the next five years. He worked up to 18 hours a day. He was 105 years old.

“He was convinced that life is about making a contribution. He had this incredible drive to help people get up early and do wonderful things for other people, ”Kawaguchi, who mentions Hinohara as her mentor, told the BBC. “That was what drove him and kept him alive. He always had goals for today, for tomorrow and for the next five years. "

Hinohara also had other advice for a long, healthy life:

Worry less about eating right or getting enough sleep and just have fun. “We can all remember forgetting to eat or sleep as children because we were having so much fun. I believe that we can maintain this attitude as adults as well. It is best not to impose too many rules on your body such as fixed eating and sleeping times. "

If you want to live long, then you shouldn't be overweight. “For breakfast I have coffee, a glass of milk and a little orange juice with a teaspoon of olive oil. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. At lunchtime I just have milk and maybe a few cookies, or nothing when I'm too busy to eat. I am rarely hungry because I concentrate on my work. In the evening I eat vegetables, a little fish and rice and lean meat twice a week. "

Don't blindly trust your doctor. “If a doctor advises you to do any tests or have an operation, ask him if he would expect his children to do the same. Contrary to popular belief, doctors cannot cure absolutely everyone. So why should one expose oneself to unnecessary pain from certain procedures? I believe that music and animal therapies can do more than most doctors can imagine. "

To fight pain, you should have fun.“Pain is a mystery and fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache and you play with them, they'll forget about the pain pretty quickly. Hospitals should adapt to the needs of patients: we all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we offer music and animal therapies as well as art courses.

Always take the stairs and carry your things yourself. "I always take two steps at a time to get my muscles going."

This article was published by Business Insider in June 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.