Are you searching for ways to keep your brain sharp and your body functioning well long into older age? The world’s oldest practicing doctor, a 101-year-old neurologist, has some sage advice for seniors to help them stay engaged, fit, and purposeful later in life – and it’s not a magic pill or a strict diet.
According to a recent Well + Good Healthy Mind report, Howard Tucker, MD currently holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest practicing doctor. Tucker continues to treat patients and teach a new generation of physicians. He also has a devoted TikTok following of nearly 100,000.
Although genetics and a bit of luck may factor into Tucker’s impressive 75-year work span, he also attributes his career longevity and good health to staying cognitively engaged. He achieves this daily by continuing to work, teach, and interact with colleagues, friends and family, but older adults who are retired can stretch their brain power by learning a new language, volunteering or pursuing a hobby that keeps their mind sharp. Doing something you love provides the motivation to keep at it and continue to find excitement, purpose, and joy in life.
Regular social interaction is vital for overall health and well-being. By exchanging ideas with others, we learn and feel more connected. Older adults who become socially isolated have an increased risk of experiencing cognitive decline and dementia. Daily social interaction also gives older adults a greater sense of belonging and value – promoting good mental health.
Tucker also believes it best to approach life with a sense of gratitude, not dwelling on age or what might no longer be possible. A positive attitude allows older adults to make more of each day, and look for the reasons to be grateful for a long and purposeful life. Surrounding yourself with people who also approach life with gratitude and mindfully look for the joy in life helps support a long, and meaningful older age.
Finally, it’s fundamental to support brain and physical health with a nutritious diet, and regular physical activity. Tucker isn’t one for fad diets or supplements; he tries to move daily by walking on the treadmill, eats a well-rounded diet, and listens to his body to avoid injury. Creating sustainable healthy lifestyle habits, including a focus on good sleep, can help keep older adults functioning optimally and avoid burnout. There you have it – good advice from the world’s oldest practicing doctor, Neurologist Howard Tucker.