Japanese man Sakari Momoi, who celebrated his 112th birthday on the 5th of February this year, is the oldest man alive. Having been born and raised in Fukushima City, Momoi became recognised as the world’s oldest man by the Guinness Book of World Records after his predecessor Alexander Imich died at the age of 111 last year.
As a former chemistry teacher, he managed to do many great things for the community. To add to that, he also served as the first president of Hanawa Fukushima Prefectural Technical High School and as the principal of Saitama Prefectural Yono High School 55 years ago. As far as it concerns his personal life, he married Mrs. Tamiko in 1928 and they had five children.
Momoi knew he was going to enjoy the benefits of longevity and that he was going to do that for a bit longer. In a 2013 interview, he even told reporters that he wanted to live for another two years, and he did. He currently lives in a hospital in Tokyo and frequently participates in activities such as practicing calligraphy and throwing a ball, which is quite impressive considering his age!
It’s truly amazing how people like Momoi manage to live on so long despite having to face several illnesses associated with growing old. If we take a look at the facts, however, this becomes obvious. Studies have shown that the Japanese have the highest life expectancy compared to any other country. In contrast to the US, women and men from Japan tend to live longer, and up to 87 and 80 years old, respectively.
Despite the fact that many have tried to learn Momoi’s secrets to longevity, and generally to most Japanese people, these are still well-hidden. To shed some light on the subject, we present to you the ten secrets to living a long and fulfilling life by the oldest living man:
1. Eat healthy
The number one reason why Momoi and most Japanese people tend to live longer is because they choose to live a simple lifestyle. They also follow a healthy diet as it is vital to preventing and fighting serious diseases that may appear in the long run. Thus they avoid putting salt in their food, and eat lots of vegetables, whole grains and fish.
The Tai Chi martial art has been associated with longevity and has been popular for the many health benefits it offers. Since meditation is a Japanese way of life, it’s no secret that these practices have also contributed to living healthier and longer. While there are many training forms that range to traditional and modern Tai Chi, this art is known for being practiced with relatively slow movements which allow you to improve your balance and concentration.
As you would have expected, physical activity can increase your life span by making your body and muscles stronger. Not only does it fight aging and related health illnesses, it also helps you stay active and motivated. Walk for about half an hour every day, and your physique and stamina will definitely improve in time.
4. Have support
Momoi is surrounded by family and friends. He celebrated his last birthday with his third son Hiroo, aged 66, at the hospital that he lives. This shows that Momoi has a strong support network that helps him fight feelings of loneliness and prevent depression, which are two factors that are highly associated with poor mental health.
5. Have gratitude
If you are thankful about the things you have in your life now, then you will find it easier to acknowledge happiness and achieve longevity. Having gratitude is valuable for Momoi who managed to make this part of his daily life. He is hopeful and faithful that he is going to live one more day, and chooses to make this the best day of his life.
6. Read the news
How does reading the news every day relate to longevity? Staying up-to-date with news around the world and educating yourself allows you to exercise your brain, increase critical thinking and help you develop an understanding on the different existing cultures. Not only that, it also gives you a sense of belonging to a larger community of people, preventing you from feeling lonely or bored.
7. Learn from hardship
Part of being able to overcome challenges along the way is not letting them consume you. Momoi preferred to take in misfortunes as experiences, and chose to see the positive aspect to everything. This gave him valuable life lessons, and allowed him to grow and build endurance along the way.
8. Laugh often
Laughing is the best and cheapest medicine to anything, so why wouldn’t it work towards achieving longevity? Studies have shown that laughing 100 times a day can be as beneficial as ten minutes of rowing. Also, it helps you build a strong immune system and it increases your creativity. Now that you know this, there is no reason not to laugh more often!
9. Connect with nature
Every human being needs their alone time, and every human being should spend some time to connect with nature. Whether this is done through gardening or taking a walk up in the mountains, it can help you stay close to nature which is essential to your survival. It refreshes your mind and allows you to break out from reality once in a while.
10. Take life as it comes
Finally, the most valuable lesson to living longer from Momoi is to ‘take life as it comes’. Having said that, you need to learn how to live your life to the fullest and enjoy every minute of it as if it was your last. Get rid of resentment and live without any attachments, and you will live to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
See Also: Can Working Keep You Young?
So, take a look at this legendary man, Sakari Momoi, who managed to achieve longevity despite several difficulties along the way:
Are there any other secrets to living longer that you know of and want to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below…