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Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara’s Longevity Legacy

His roadmap for a long, fulfilling life


Japan has a well-earned reputation of being one of the world’s leaders in longevity. However, a top champion of good health into advanced age recently passed away at the age of 105. Despite being born in an age when the average life expectancy was 40 years of age, Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara survived a world war and a plane hijacking, and he innovated medical care procedures for others enduring catastrophe.

8 Pieces of Advice for a Long Life

In the spirit of honoring his legacy in longevity, what can we learn from Dr. Hinohara? Here are eight pieces of advice based on the principles of his lifestyle and medical practice:

1. Avoid obesity, take the stairs.

2. Carry your own packages and luggage.

3. Remember that doctors cannot cure everything.

4. Don’t underestimate the beneficial effects of music and the company of animals; both can be therapeutic.

5. Don’t ever retire, but if you must, do so a lot later than age 65.

6. Prevail over pain simply by enjoying yourself.

7. Get a complete annual physical, what Dr. Hinohara called the “human dry dock.”

8. Have big visions, and make your visions a reality.

Perhaps even more important than those tips was his overall gratitude for life and generosity towards others. In a 2015 interview he said, “I believe that I was privileged to live, so my life must be dedicated to other people.”

Read more about Dr. Hinohara in this piece from The New York Times.

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