Retirement is the Enemy of Longevity

Author: AB Staff

Retirement is the Enemy of Longevity

OpEd Passion Wellness

One way to learn the “secret” to living a long, fulfilling life is to ask someone who’s doing it and has the ability to provide an informed answer.

When Howard Tucker celebrated his 100-year-old birthday recently, he was asked for his perspective. Dr, Tucker is a neurologist, who was named by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest practicing physician. In addition, has a law degree! A life-long learner, has an 89 year-old wife who is a practicing psychiatrist.

While having longevity genes makes a difference, what counts even more are habits and practices we all can adopt. These include:

  • Don’t stop working: Stay productive as long as possible. Noting that many younger people look forward to retiring from the jobs/career in which they spent most of their adult lives but have no specific plans to continue being productive. Indeed, he believes that this kind of “retirement is the enemy of longevity”. Both he and his wife are engaged in jobs which meet their needs for passion and purpose. But he adds that keeping active doesn’t mean you have to have a job; it’s more about keeping active and having things to do every day. And according to various studies, he might be on to something. 
  • Continuous learning also increases longevity. Take up a hobby or learn a new skill. Practice your skill and engage your brain and body regularly to keep them sharp. Our bodies are like machines, and the more you keep them working the better oiled they are. Feed your curiosity, try to learn new things and enjoy  (Add A REFERENCE from a Google search)
  • Healthy eating nourishes the mind and body and creates the energy to fight diseases. (Add A REFERENCE from a Google search)
  • Taking care of your physical and mental health also matters. Recognizing that too much stress can cut lives short, he focuses on leading a life of moderation. (Add A REFERENCE from a Google search)
  • Meaningful Relationships: As the Harvard Longevity study revealed, having deep, meaningful relationships in your life can greatly help you feel happier and decrease your stress. Dr. Tucker himself has a thriving family life, with a wife, children and grandchildren.

Dr. Tucker’s understanding that “retirement is the enemy of longevity” applies not only to the world of income-earning work, but all aspects of your life, not just your job. To lead a long, fulfilling life, commit to an active lifestyle where you regularly practice your physical, mental, social skills and engage in activities with passion and purpose. Don’t ever retire from life itself!

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