weekly blog--one for the ages
Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, who helped make Japan a world leader in longevity, passed away a few weeks ago at age 105. Dr. Hinohara ministered to victims of the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II. He was taken hostage in 1970 when Japanese Red Army terrorists hijacked a commercial airliner. He treated 640 of the victims of a radical cult’s subway poison gas attack in 1995. He also wrote a musical for children when he was 88, and a best-selling book when he was 101. Until a few months ago he was still treating patients, playing golf and kept a date book with space for five more years of appointments.
In the early 1950s, Dr. Hinohara pioneered a system of detailed health checkups for middle-aged and elderly men called “human dry-dock” which has been credited with helping to lengthen the average life span in Japan. Women born today can expect to live to 87; men to 80.
His advice for living longer: avoid obesity, take the stairs, and carry your own packages. Also, remember that doctors cannot cure everything. Don’t underestimate the beneficial effects of music and the company of animals. Don’t ever retire, but if you must, do so a lot later than age 65. And prevail over pain simply by enjoying yourself.
Dr. Hinohara maintained his weight at about 130 pounds. His diet consisted of coffee, milk and orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil for breakfast; milk and a few biscuits for lunch; vegetables with a small portion of fish and rice for dinner. He consumed about 3 ounces of lean meat twice a week. (NY Times)