LIFESTYLE

'Eat, Sleep And Relax': World's Oldest Person Shares Secret To Longevity On 116th Birthday

03/03/2014 11:19 GMT | Updated 09/07/2014 14:59 BST

The world's oldest person, Misao Okawa, celebrates her 116th birthday on 5 March 2014.

Ahead of this momentous occasion, she shared her secret to longevity (and she would know).

“Eat and sleep and you will live a long time,” she told The Telegraph in a message. “You have to learn to relax.”

misao okawa

“Mrs Okawa eats three large meals a day and makes sure that she sleeps eight hours a night,” said Tomohito Okada, the head of the Kurenai retirement home, where she has been a resident for the past 18 years.

“She insists that her favourite meal is sushi, particularly mackerel on vinegar-steamed rice, and she has it at least once every month."

Misao holds the Guinness World Record as the world's oldest woman, and has recently assumed the title of the oldest person in the world following the death of 116-year-old Jireomon Kimura in June 2013.

She has outlived the average lifespan for women in Japan (85.9 years) by 30 years and counting.

Misao Okawa, The Oldest Person In The World

A descendent of Kimono merchants, Misao was born in Osaka, Japan on March 5, 1898.

She married in 1919 and had three children, of which a daughter and a son are still alive. She has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband passed away in 1931, over 83 years ago.

According to The Guinness World Records, Misao also belongs to an elite group - the supercentenarians. Members to this exclusive club need to be at least 110 years old.

Join us in wishing her a very happy birthday!

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