The secret to a long, fulfilling life is a topic of great mystery to many. Not some elixir or advanced technology, the truth is we live longer when we have support. In simpler words, our length of living is directly related to the support that we receive from around us. Most of the time, the best support comes when people work and grow old together.
We can understand this connection better by looking at the story of Dr. Howard Tucker and his wife Dr. Sara Siegel. Dr. Tucker is an American neurologist, who is currently 100 years old and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s oldest practicing doctor. On the other hand, Dr. Siegel is 88 years old now and is continuing her psychiatry practices.
At the age of 100, he has been working in medicine for 75 years. In his own words, “retirement is the enemy of longevity”. Looking at Dr. Tucker and Dr. Siegel’s case, it is evident that retirement has no age. In fact, their work ethics and support for each other show us that longevity lies in happiness and support.
As simple as it may sound, expert studies and research back up this proposition. From the studies of Harvard, we can see that embracing community and support is paramount to living longer. According to the research findings, we live longer because of the bonds and support we develop with our families and communities over the course of our lives.
Lifespan researchers agree with this notion. As they say, genetics are necessary but relationships are more important than genetics for healthy aging and long life. So, to build our journey towards healthy aging and long life, here are some practices to start on.
Say no to retirement: The idea of retiring after a certain age should be deconstructed for living a long life. When we reach a certain age, the idea of retirement lowers our productivity and disrupts our work ethic.
So, to age healthily we must plan for a life full of fun, enjoyable work. It is all right to shift your career or jobs, but we must never plan for a retired life, devoid of fulfilling work.
Build good relationships: Good relationships and strong bonds are essential to living long. It can come from family, friends, relatives, the community, and many more.
Good relationships work magically to free us from a rough patch. We can reach our true potential when we receive love and guidance from strong relationships in our life.
Have a strong support system: Support is vital if we want to succeed and live long. Without support, the simplest tasks can become gruesome. On the contrary, with the right support and care, we can overcome many obstacles in our way regardless of age.
So, having a support system, that can be family, friends and loved ones are vital for a long life. Ultimately, when people grow old together and support each other they get the best of both worlds.
Take your health seriously: As we see from Dr. Howard Tucker, taking health seriously is crucial to living a long life free from diseases. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, practicing physical exercises regularly, moderating smoking and drinking, etc.
Dr. Tucker and his wife Dr. Siegel show us the remarkable impact of happiness and support in our life. At the same time, having the mindset to not retire and continue working is also impactful for healthy aging.