The 6 Secrets of the World's Oldest Man
Ask Walter Breuning his secret for living as long as he has, and he'll reply modestly, "There is no secret about it." Breuning, who became the world's oldest living man on his 113th birthday September 21, adds that kindness and common sense have played a crucial part to his longevity. Learn the six things that have allowed him to lead a long and happy life.
Don't Overdo it
"I only eat twice a day," Breuning says, citing a hearty breakfast and lunch as his meals of choice. He began skipping dinner more than 30 years ago when he first moved to Great Falls, Montana, from his home state of Minnesota. "People don't need to eat so much." Breuning's favorite food
Eat a Healthy Diet
Though he says liver and onions is his favorite meal, Breuning is a bigger fan of fruit. "I eat a lot of fruit," he says. "Bananas and oranges are my favorite." Breuning's love of fruit is so well known that Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer presented him with an enormous fruit basket as a birthday present. "All peaches and pears," he says. "Boy, I sure ate all of them too." Breuning credits his clean diet as the root of his good health and why, aside from taking one baby aspirin every day
, he's never been on a single medication. "If you stay on that diet, you'll be surprised how good you'll feel," he says. Doing unto others is key to a long life
Be Kind to People
Breuning, who was a volunteer with the Shriner's Club until he was 99, says that with a country at war and so many people in need, the best remedy to negativity—and its long-term effects on a person's health—begins at home. "Be kind to other people," he says. "It's important to do things for other people."Start a conversation now
"I like to talk to people," Breuning says. "All my life I've loved talking with people. I can talk forever." In addition to his busy media schedule—he fields calls frequently from local and national media—Breuning has received hundreds of letters from people all over the country. People visit him regularly at the Rainbow Retirement Center in Great Falls, all interested in hearing from the world's oldest man. Mostly he shares his life stories, including his experiences working 50 years with the Great Northern Railway, as well as what it was like for him to support his family at age 14 after his father passed away. "You only got $50 a month back then for working 12-hour days, seven days a week," he says. "That's how it was years ago. You didn't get overtime."How does he keep busy?
Keep Your Mind and Body Active
Though Breuning's vision keeps him from reading as he once did, he says he keeps his brain active by listening to the radio. "Anytime you don't keep your mind busy, your mind is going to deteriorate," he says. "Keep busy doing things as long as you can." Find out why hard work pays off
Breuning is adamant about working and says that despite having worked his entire life, he likes it. "Work as long as you can work," he says. "Hard work won't kill you." And while Breuning says a strong work ethic will help keep a person healthy and happy, a more frugal approach with what he earns from that work is just as important. "Social Security won't take of [the future]," he says. "People have so much money, but they buy cars with no money down. They should aim to only spend so much a month and save."Ready to live till 100? Find out how!
What is your secret to living longer? Post your age-defying ideas below.