Sixty-five may seem like a normal retirement age to most people. However, to Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, a doctor and leading world longevity expert, slowing down at 65 was never a consideration.
According to an article in Business Insider, Dr. Hinohara argued that life should be focused on “contribution,” and Japan’s set retirement age of 65 felt much too early for him to stop working. Dr. Hinohara continued treating patients and working 18-hour days until his death this past July at the age of 105.
His main secret to aging so well? Have fun.
Dr. Hinohara believed that fun is the ideal antidote to both worry and pain, Business Insider reported. “Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain,” he said. “Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun.”
Dr. Hinohara even incorporated fun into his diet—he admitted to eating cookies and milk for lunch most days (unless he was too busy to eat at all). But don’t be fooled; Dr. Hinohara’s dinners generally consisted of vegetables, fish and rice, showing that a little dessert is OK as long as it is consumed alongside more nutritious options.
In addition to fun, Dr. Hinohara recommended taking the stairs, carrying your own belongings and not being overweight, according to Business Insider. Essentially, he promoted living a naturally active lifestyle.
If you’re wondering what you can do to age this gracefully, consider following Dr. Hinohara’s tips and incorporate fun into your life whenever you can—maybe even at lunchtime.
Read more about Dr. Hinohara here.