Posted on Apr 13, 2023, 2 p.m.
Dr. Howard Tucker is reported to have been practicing medicine since 1947. He was born in 1922 when the average life expectancy in America was only 58 years for men and 61 for women, yet here he is still going strong and offering you some of his anti-aging tips on things that he never does to help him live a long and happy life.
He just may be the world’s oldest practicing medical doctor and neurologist, given his age, it is no surprise to him when his patients ask him for tips on how to stay healthy, happy, and mentally sharp. Dr. Tucker says that it is true that your genes combined with a bit of luck will definitely give you a head start, but he has a few lifestyle rules that he lives by that have helped him with longevity over the past century.
First, he doesn’t spend his day retired, and he has been working for over 75 years during which he was named the world’s oldest practicing doctor by the Guinness World Records. To add to this exceptional achievement, his wife of 65 years named Sara who is 89 years old also still practices psychoanalysis and psychiatry. That is an impressive couple’s goal right there.
During the recent pandemic, he treated patients 5-6 days per week before switching to teaching medical residents for up to three days a week. When not working he enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, watching sports, and going snowshoeing. The doctor suggests that people should consider delaying retirement as those who do more than often become inactive in their day-to-day routines becoming at an increased risk of cognitive decline.
Secondly, this centenarian doesn’t let himself become out of shape and maintains a healthy body weight. To keep his body in shape well into his late 80’s he liked to go swimming, jogging, hiking, and skiing, which he says has helped to keep him strong and healthy. He admits that he no longer engages in skiing and is not as active as he once was, but he still tries to get in at least three miles on a treadmill at a brisk pace most days of the week while watching classic movies in the background to curb some of the monotony. A simple 15-minute walk has been shown to help lower the risk of premature death by close to 25%.
Thirdly, this longevity warrior does not partake in smoking habits. His father took the fun and excitement out of the unhealthy habit with some sage advice in the 1930s when the doctor was in high school and expressed interest in smoking to his father. His father said that it was fine with him but added a thought-provoking question to the discussion by saying, “That’s alright with me. But why would anyone want to put anything but fresh air into his lungs when life is so short as it is?”
Dr. Tucker can even remember attending medical conventions and watching other doctors with a cigarette dangling from their mouths trying to encourage other people to take up smoking because it would help to “curb your appetite and quiet your nerves.” Luckily that has since changed in the modern day because we know that cigarette smoking is not good for you, leading to cancer, stroke, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, as well as a host of other pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.
His fourth rule is not to restrict himself. Everything in moderation helps us to live life to the fullest while also preventing us from going overboard in indulgent behaviors which could negatively impact our health in the long run. The doctor likes to have an occasional martini and New York strip loin steak, but he and his wife have a salad with every meal, while also enjoying greens such as Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and broccoli. To help with this Sara is an excellent home chef which is beneficial to maintaining a healthy and varied nutritious diet.
Lastly, the doctor says that he doesn’t let his knowledge go to waste. His medical career has spanned over seven decades, during this time he has witnessed medicine evolve from lobotomies to the breakthroughs of computerized imaging techniques. He enjoys teaching thoroughly and has also learned a great deal from that process as well because it’s never too late to learn. Currently, he is participating in a documentary about his life, to which he says that it has been a real joy to share his stories from his exceptionally long career with the next up-and-coming generation.
Not only is Dr. Howard Tucker a neurologist from Cleveland, Ohio that was named the ”Oldest Practicing Doctor″ by Guinness World Records. In addition to being a doctor, he also received his law degree and passed the Ohio Bar Exam in his late 60s, as well as served as chief of neurology of the Atlantic fleet during the Korean War. He recently got his first tattoo at the age of 100 waiting that long because he hates needles. Currently, a feature documentary about Dr. Tucker is in the process of being made. For those that are interested you can follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
Dr. Tucker says that the real secret to longevity is that there are no real secrets, but we live day to day and only die once so we must make the most of the time that we do have.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Content may be edited for style and length.
References/Sources/Materials provided by: