Dr. James Chou Turns 100 and Shares His Tips For Longevity

Whether or not the century mark is your goal, you can’t go wrong with Dr. James Chou’s advice for a happy, healthy life.

The longtime 24 Hour Fitness member was born in China. Following his service in World War II, marriage and graduation with a master’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology, he relocated to Maui to work for the sugar company Alexander and Baldwin. He moved to Honolulu, earned a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University, and became a professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii. Upon retirement at age 68, Chou was 20 pounds overweight and diabetic. He joined 24 Hour Fitness, changed his diet and improved his health. Now he and his son work out together six or seven days a week.

Following a surprise celebration at 24 Hour Fitness Pearl City Super-Sport, General Manager Robert Philyaw asked Chou for his thoughts on longevity and more, and shared Chou’s answers with 24Life.

Robert Philyaw: What’s the secret to living a long fulfilling life?

Dr. James Chou: I work out six to seven days a week at 24 Hour Fitness. (Philyaw says, “No joke, Dr. Chou said that, word-for-word.”)

RP: What does a normal workout look like for you?

JC: I start with 10 minutes warming up on the treadmill and then use all the machines for 45 minutes to work out my full body.

RP: What kinds of food do you eat?

JC: I avoid salt—low or no salt, and no spicy foods, or smoking.

RP: Do you have a favorite indulgence?

JC: I really like Wendy’s avocado chicken salad. I also drink 8 ounces of wine every day. It doesn’t matter the time of day. Sometimes in the morning, afternoon or evening.

RP: You’ve been married for 63 years; what wisdom can you share with us on marriage?

JC: I’m still figuring that out.

RP: What advice would you give to others about life?

JC: You need to be nice to people. Every action receives a reaction.

RP: Are any other words of wisdom you’d like to give?

JC: Every day is a new day. Concentration, perseverance and open-mindedness.

Photo credit: 24 Hour Fitness