10 Healthy Tips From Longevity Expert Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara

LifestyleJuly 25, 20229min read

tips for longevity from Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara


  • Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara left a huge legacy for human longevity in Japan.
  • Thanks to his dedication to his mission as a doctor, Dr. Hinohara successfully prolonged the life expectancy in Japan.
  • During his long lifespan, Dr. Hinohara wrote hundreds of health books, some of which are best-sellers.
  • Dr. Shigeaki’s tips for longevity are simple and based on self-experience.
  • His life was humble. On top of that, Hinohara shared his time and knowledge to contribute to society.

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara And His Legacy

Who else to look up to for living 100 years and beyond other than a longevity expert and doctor who lived 105 years? We are talking about Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, a physician, author, musician, and honorary chairman at St. Luke’s University, Tokyo.

Dr. Hinohara’s name is among the other 86.000 centenarians who lived in Japan. His valuable legacy for health care in Japan remains a basis for supporting long life expectancy and quality of life. This rich legacy contains thousands of articles, 400 books written, more than 150 published books, and hundreds of annual speeches.

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara was born in 1911 when his chances to survive longer than 40 years under the prevailing risk of WWII were microscopic. Yet, using his courage and knowledge, Dr. Shigeaki helped soldiers and victims of the war. Despite getting hijacked, he came back to serve his county’s people.

By pioneering the system of complete annual physical exams called “human dry-dock”, he and his colleagues succeeded to lengthen the human lifespan in Japan. Their contribution to Japan’s healthcare system set a new measure of life expectancy to be 80 for men and 87 for women instead of the previous 60 and 68 years.

Dr. Hinohara died at age of 105, 2017, reportedly, from respiratory failure. He did not take his secrets to longevity and tips for a healthier life span after he died. Moreover, these tips stay immortal in his best-selling books and serve as a constitution for a healthy and long lifespan for many people all over the world.

This article contains 10 pieces of advice from this well-known and altruistic longevity expert.

1. Do Not Retire

This is probably the biggest piece of advice Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara gives. As he once said during his interviews, during the times when people used to live 60 or 65 years, the age to retire was 68. But now people come to live 80 and 87 years, why should they retire earlier? 

Dr. Hinohara says: “There is no need to ever retire. But if one must, it should be a lot later than 65.”

Human energy is restorative and can stay at the same level if utilized correctly. And one of these ways is supporting the brain, muscles, and creative work. This advice makes more sense and gives more motivation when you learn that Dr. Shigeaki kept writing books until his last days, published his best-selling book when he was 101, and wrote a musical for children when he was 88. He kept attending to the hospital and taking care of his patients early every morning.

 2. To Release Pain, Have Fun

Will you agree that while you are busy having “fun”, you get distracted from the pain? Dr. Hinorara remembers himself as a child when he would forget his pains while playing with his friends.

His advice is not to grab pills as an immediate remedy. Sometimes music, books, and animals can be the best medications for curing pains or stress.

Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music, animal therapies, and art classes, “ Dr. Hinohara says.

healthy tips for longevity. Have fun

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 3. Avoid Shortcuts

At the age of 100, longevity expert Dr. Shigeaki Hinorara would take stairs instead of elevators. And what is more, he mentioned leaping over 2 stairs to keep his muscles active.

Shigeaki Hinorara believes that one does not have to attend the gym every day to guarantee a long life expectancy. Simply taking longer paths, stairs, and being an active part of society can suffice for living 100 years.

 4. Do Not Believe Your Doctor 

This sounds quite surprising to hear from a famous physician, doesn’t it? But the truth is, many doctors do not see you as a whole. And when your doctor recommends going through surgery, Dr. Shigeaki’s advice is the following: 

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?”

This is one of the reasons in his hospital, patients are treated with musical therapy while enjoying their time with animals. But if you are not willing to find calm and effective healing in the company of animals and pleasant music, question if you are willing to bear the pain of sometimes unnecessary surgical cuts.

5. Eat To Live, But Not The Opposite

Longevity expert Shigeaki Hinohara was not tall and he weighed 152lbs (69kg). What was his eating plan? The centenarian ate the same food every day. His breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee, a glass of milk, and orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil. 

“Olive oil is good for my arteries and my healthy skin” mentioned Dr. Hinohara.

For lunch, if he had time, Dr. Shigeaki ate cookies with a glass of milk. Oftentimes he would skip lunch due to lack of time. Yet, his dinner was nutritious with vegetables, fish, rice, and twice a week lean meat. Dr. Hinorara said he would not get hungry because he was busy working.

Do not be overweight if you want to live healthy and long. Learn to control your food intake and focus on your work. This way you may avoid health and age issues induced by obesity.

6. Contribute To Society And People

Living our young lives and working 8 hours a day (sometimes even more) we may sometimes dream of retirement and more free time for ourselves. However, Dr. Shigeaki believes that one must not retire from working and volunteering for people in need or contributing to society.

Dr. Hinohara himself continued working until his last days. Moreover, he started volunteering at the age of 65. He believed that “life is all about contribution”. One of his friends, Judit Kawaguchi, who considered Dr. Hinohara her mentor, told the BBC: “… he had this incredible drive to help people, to wake up early in the morning and do something wonderful for the people. That is what was driving him and kept him living.”

Eventually, what we give other people, returns to us. The joy and the happy moments shared with people, the valuable knowledge, care, and intelligent advice come back to us and keep us vibrant and ready to share more.

Dr. Hinohara, while sharing his open secrets in one of his interviews, mentioned: “I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”

longevity tips from hinohara. contribute to society

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7. Plan Ahead

During an interview in 2009, Dr. Hinohara mentioned that he planned to attend Tokyo Olympics in 2016 and already had everything planned until 2014. He would plan his hospital work, and speeches ahead to keep track of his time.

He believed that planning ahead of your goals keeps you moving forward and forgetting past occurrences. When you have a target to move toward there is no time left to concentrate on stress which torments your health and wellbeing.

As Judit Kawaguchi said: “He always had today’s goals, tomorrow’s, and the next five years”. According to Dr. Hinohara, planning is very important, it keeps your brain healthy and leads to a more successful life.

8. Worry Less

One of Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara’s secrets to a healthy body and longevity is enjoying life to the fullest. Having fun, and being in the moment keeps your brain and body healthy, you can defy stress more easily. Yet, while you worry about mere problems and try to keep control of every event in life, it can lead to depression and numerous mental and physical issues.

He advises taking action to solve the problems instead of worrying about them constantly. And also keep in mind that not all problems need a solution when even science is not capable of solving all the issues. 

Plus, worrying about routine rules may also ruin your fun. Instead, Dr. Hinohara says:  “We all remember how as children when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”

9. Share Your Knowledge

Even at the age of 100, Dr. Hinohara would give lectures sharing his knowledge about health, long life, and contribution. What is more, he stood during the entire time of his 60-90 min lectures. He also instructed his audience to stand up and sit down from time to time to keep the muscles active.

During his long lifetime, Dr. Shigeaki wrote 400 books, more than 150 were published and many of them became best sellers. He gave over 100 lectures a year and wrote over 4000 articles on different topics.

Eventually, he believed that we must always try to share knowledge to keep it cycling from generation to generation for human development.

10. Redefine Your Values

While you cannot earn all the money in the world and will never take them with you to the other world, chasing them stressfully may be damaging. 

After all, “you don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it [money] with you to the next place.”

Moreover, as long as you cannot have all the best stuff, there is no need to worry about them harming you with stress. Think of spending extra hours with your loved ones in nature or simply at home, attending family gatherings, or spending leisure time with friends. Learn how to allow equal time for work and people or hobbies important to you.

Final Words

Long life has always been a permanent desire for humanity. And with the wisdom and contribution of knowledge of thousands of centenarians, longer life expectancy is now possible. Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the eminent longevity experts, physicians of his time, and an incredible volunteer for people in need during WWII or peaceful times.

During his 105-years-long life, he succeeded in sharing his deep knowledge of mental and physical stability, longer life expectancy, and happiness. His tips for longevity rest in hundreds of his books. And if you aim to achieve the same results in your life, we believe these 10 simple pieces of advice were helpful.