The world’s oldest man, Walter Breuning died today at age 114. The trick to being one of the oldest centenarians on the planet? According to reports Breuning prided himself in eating only two meals a day, he took no medications except for aspirin and most importantly he stayed busy.
This is an excerpt taken from an interview with Breuning published on April 20th 2010 in The Great Falls Tribune for Breunings 113th birthday.
“I think you should push back from the table when you’re still hungry,” Breuning said
At 5 foot 8, (“I shrunk a little,” he admitted) and 125 pounds, Breuning limits himself to a big breakfast and lunch every day and no supper.
“I have weighed the same for about 35 years,” Breuning said. “Well, that’s the way it should be.”
“You get in the habit of not eating at night, and you realize how good you feel. If you could just tell people not to eat so darn much.”
He gets up every morning at 6:15 a.m. and has a big breakfast at 7:30. Usually it’s eggs, toast or pancakes.
“I eat a lot of fruit every day,” he added.
“I drink water all the time,” he said, and just a bit of coffee. “I drink a cup and a half of coffee for breakfast and a cup with lunch.”
Breuning recommended people work as long as they can, never retire. He thought you never knew when you might need that money, but maybe it was the act of staying busy that helped Breuning live so long. He spent his entire life working in the railroad and when he retired from there he continued to work until he was 99. Yes, 99. Doing nothing is a romantic notion, but we hope for the sake of your happiness you stay busy. People are happier when they are busy. According to a new study from the Association for Psychological Research, people are uncomfortable with idleness, and prefer to stay busy
“The more you do for others, the better shape you’re in.” is another Breuning life lesson. Indeed, if you want to boost your mood without diet, exercise, or pills? Perhaps, you should consider volunteering. In his article, “It’s Good to Be Good: Science Says It’s So,” Dr Stephen Post sites numerous scientific studies which prove that altruism may be a key component to overall happiness and health.
Breuning also had lots of friends in the nursing home, and he considered them his family. His wife died many years earlier and Breuning never had children. Friends too may help you live a long life. Making a call to an old friend may be the healthiest part of your day today. We know social contact is important to health, but could it add years to our lives? A new study on baboons provides more evidence in support of the link between friendship and long life.
So, lessons to be learned, eat a small sensible diet, stay busy, volunteer, and call a friend. A life like that, indeed, is best enjoyed for as many years possible. Thank you for the advice Walter Breuning.