Be Active.

Do You know Shigeaki Hinohara? At the age of 97 years and 4 months he is said to be one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators, healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing since 1941.

Since his 75th birthday, he is reported to have published around 150 books, including one Living Long, Living Good that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself. He says that:

Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot.

We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. He believes that we can keep that attitude as adults, too, and that it’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime. We should not keep ourselves tight to some schedule like this is our time of taking lunch or that time, we must have our dinner etc. As much we are free of our schedules, we can gain energy. The tight schedules of taking meals create tensions and tensions are responsible for many diseases. Eat whenever you like and whatever you like – never keep yourself overfed or underfed.

All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None should be overweight.

For breakfast, you may drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Your lunch may have milk and a few cookies. In dinner, you may take veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week 100 grams of lean meat. Dr.Hinohara usually follows this plan.

Always plan ahead.

You should have your plan of working fixed in advance. It would save a lot of time being wasted in haphazard way of working. Dr.Hinohara’s schedule book is already full until 2014. In 2016 he plans to attend the Tokyo Olympics!

There is no need to ever retire.

The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was much lower. Due to advancement in medical sciences, the life expectancy has gone up in the meanwhile. We should keep our retirement after 75 years of age.

Share what you know.

Hinohara gives 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. As much you share your knowledge, you would get the same more practiced and you may perhaps get added further.

When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure.
Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone — so why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? Hinohara thinks that music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine. You can have some regular yoga exercises, walking or work-outs according to your requirements.

To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff.

For attending your office, take stairs if the office is located at 2nd or 3rd floor, say below 4th floor, of the building. Try to take two stairs at a time, to get your muscles moving.

Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.

Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients, and we all want to have fun. Nursing Homes, Hospitals or waiting halls in the doctors’ clinics must have entertainment means to keep happy the patients taking rest or waiting for their calls.

Don’t be crazy about amassing material things.

Remember: You don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it with you to the next place. You must have only essentials with you. More possessions mean more worries for you to look after them.

Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors.

Hinohara helped design St. Luke’s so that it was possible to operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought he was crazy, but on March 20, 1995, he was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. St. Luke’s accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly they lost one person, but they saved 739 lives.

Further, every citizen must be compulsorily trained to carry out first-aid treatment and apprised of traffic rules, civil defense systems and civic duties. The Government can grant some incentives to those who qualify their awareness tests to be held from time to time and those who do not care for must be punished.

Science alone can’t cure or help people.

Illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to the hearts, emotional conditions and living standards. To know the illness and help people, there is a need for liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones. A thorough study of the living methods of the patients can make the doctor understand easily the root of disease. We must care for the upkeep of our basic facilities.

Life is filled with incidents.

On March 31, 1970, when Hinohara was 59 years old, he boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. The plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. He spent the next four days handcuffed to his seat. As a doctor, he looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how his body slowed down in a crisis. We must keep ourselves always ready to face any crisis. For this purpose, a mock drill can be conducted by you on your friends after making their well wishers aware of your attempts stating that you are going to do in his interest, to prepare him mentally ready to meet any exigency.

Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do.

Hinohara’s role model was his father, who went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University, in North Carolina. You can too have some role model in your life and try to follow. If you are able to make him your friend, you can get guidance and close up over his working style.

It’s wonderful to live long.

Since the age of 65, Hinohara has worked as a volunteer. He still puts in 18 hours, seven days a week, and loves every minute of it. If you keep yourself active all the time, the death knell may also be afraid to come closer to you and you can lead your life happily. If you live long, you can contribute to the society a lot with your experience – experience of your success, experience of your failures and how you dealt with them i n your life. You
can ask the well- to- do families to ensure equitable distribution of the resources to avoid any unrest.

Be Happy – Be Active.