I went to see my 95-year-old grandfather this summer in his native Osaka, Japan. I wanted to spend more time with him and find out what he does to maintain his great health and happiness.
His imaginative, community-focused vision and purposeful way of life have always motivated me. He is a retired cardiologist. He is a wonderful illustration of how to mature gracefully.
Here are his eight tenets for living a long and fulfilling life:
- He goes for a morning stroll.
My grandparents get up early. They’ve already started their morning stroll around five o’clock. They typically cover at least 7,000 steps in 30 to 60 minutes of walking.
My grandparents use their walks to begin their days with power, whether they are strolling through the Ikeda neighborhood or going up mountain routes to the Minoh Falls.
- He exercises consciously.
He follows his walk with a customized workout. He begins by stretching before beginning a series of balance and strength training exercises.
Based on his capabilities and needs, he carefully selects a different workout each day to make sure he keeps active without putting undue stress on his body.
- He uses social media to communicate with loved ones.
He takes out his laptop after his workout and logs into Facebook and Instagram.
According to studies, older persons who are socially isolated experience significant rates of loneliness, especially among older men.
My granny helps my granddad feel better emotionally. Through this time online, he also keeps in touch with members of his worldwide community, such as his grandchildren who live in the United States.
- He blogs on his website.
He has been posting a few minutes practically every day to his blog since 2014, writing about his ideas, experiences, and observations. There are currently well over 1,000 posts.
When we don’t get results right away, it’s easy to lose motivation, yet my grandfather’s blog is the result of a few minutes of writing spread over several years. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the need of taking little, regular steps.
He makes art, no. 5.
My grandfather has a successful art career. He sits down and creates a self-portrait each day. He uses the opportunity to better understand himself as he meticulously draws every line, shade, and detail.
Seeing him take the time to slow down and look inward in a society where we are constantly on the go has inspired me to do the same.
- He finds time for brand-new interests.
My grandfather was inspired by the flowers and plants he observed on his walks to start gardening during the pandemic.
He also began playing the recorder, a woodwind instrument, at my grandmother’s advice because he believed it would improve his ability to breathe and swallow.
You can always pick up new skills. I adore how my grandfather never loses his sense of adventure or open-mindedness, constantly seeking out new encounters to pique his curiosity, and never lets fear of failure stop him.
- He sleeps more than once.
He makes care to stop and replenish multiple times a day after all that exercise to keep himself energized.
He typically takes his first 30-minute nap in the morning, around 8 or 9 a.m., and frequently nods off again while reading in the afternoon.
His lifespan has been greatly influenced by his self-awareness, which allowed him to know when to take periodic vacations.
- He indulges in fatty meals.
Although my grandfather is very busy, he also enjoys the finer things in life, such as eating exquisite cheeses and drinking fine wines.
However, my grandma usually includes a variety of veggies in her homemade Japanese foods, including her delectable curry, to make them healthier.
While some of his food choices would be considered harmful by Western standards, his outstanding health at 95 is proof that many diverse elements, with balance being possibly the most crucial, contribute to longevity.