If you wish to have a healthy and long life, you should hear the statements that Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara from Japan proclaimed as the “secrets” to having a long life. This doctor successfully managed to help build the foundations of Japanese medicine, studied longevity and even lived to the age of 105.
Hinohara, who passed away on July 18, 2017, was the chairman emeritus of St. Luke’s International University and the honorary president of St. Luke’s International Hospital. In an interview with Judit Kawaguchi of Japan Times regarding longevity, he suggested a couple of basic guidelines for having a longer life. Among them was retiring at a later time in life.
Retire later in life
Due to the fact that people nowadays live much longer, in Japan in particular, Dr. Hinohara states that they should likewise retire later. The doctor listened to his own advice. A few months before passing away, even being 105 years old, Hinohara kept treating patients. He had an appointment book with space for five more years and worked up to 18 hours daily!
“He had the belief that life should be dedicated to contribution, therefore he had this incredible need to help people, wake up early in the mornings and do something beneficial for other people. This is what was leading him through life and what kept him living,” Kawaguchi stated before BBC. “He always had goals for today, tomorrow, and the following five years.”
Have more fun
Other guidelines suggested by Hinohara are to worry less when it comes to eating properly or getting a sufficient amount of sleep and spend more time having fun. “ We all remember how when we were kids we were always having a good time, and we frequently forgot to sleep or eat. I think that we can continue doing this as adults, as well. The best thing that one can do is not to tire the body with numerous rules like bedtime and lunchtime,” said Hinohara.
Eat right, stay trim
The scientist from Japan was likewise against being overweight. His own regime was very strict: “For breakfast I have coffee, a glass of milk, and some orange juice with one tablespoon of olive oil in it,” explained Hinohara. “Olive oil is extremely beneficial for the arteries and maintains my skin in a healthy condition. Lunch is milk and several cookies, or I don’t eat anything if I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry as I am focused on my work. For dinner I have vegetables, some rice and fish, and, 100 grams of lean meat two times a week.”
Question everything, your doctor’s advice included
Even though Hinohara was a doctor, he always told his patients to do their own research and pay close attention to their own intuitions. “If a doctor suggests you to take a test or undergo a surgery, ask if the doctor would recommend that her or his partner or children to undergo such a procedure,” he said. “Regardless of what the majority thinks, doctors are not able to cure every single person. Therefore, why make someone undergo unnecessary pains with surgery? I think that animal and music therapy can be of greater help than most doctors can even imagine.
As it might be expected, exercising is likewise recommended! “I have the habit of taking two stairs at a time, in order to get my muscles moving,” said Hinohara. The doctor likewise suggested having more fun to battle pains, which is quite necessary in life.
“Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the method for forgetting it. If a child has a toothache, and you begin playing a game with him or her, he or she instantenously forgets about the pain. Hospitals should take care of the basic need of patients: We all wish to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have animal and music therapies, as well as art classes,” stated Hinohara.
The wise doctor might not be with us anymore, however his advice and legacy will continue to live on.