Doctor reveals his patients' biggest regret

I’m a doctor and hundreds of my dying patients have the same ‘biggest regret’ – and it’s not wishing they spent more time with their family

  • Doctor claims patients are surprised by amount of physical pain later in life 
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A doctor has revealed the number one regret he hears most from dying patients – and the answer is not what you think. 

Dr Karl Zarse, from Idaho, US, claims most people often can’t believe the amount physical pain they experience later in life and how long they suffer for. 

With this in mind, patients wish they had prioritised their health earlier on and from a younger age to help combat against the pain and limitations.

To stay as flexible as possible as we age, Dr Zarse recommends engaging in strength training and physical activity that specifically focuses on mobility – such as yoga, pilates and Tai Chi.

He also suggests drinking ‘adequate’ levels of water every day to stay hydrated and taking supplements to help decrease inflammation. 

Dr Karl Zarse, from Idaho, US, claims most people often can’t believe the amount physical pain they feel and how long they suffer for later in life

#1 regret every patient has…and its not what you think. #fyp #foryoupage #doctorsoftiktok #drzagefit #over50 #educateyourself #motivational

‘I want to share what I hear from my patients on a regular basis – and it’s not “I wish I had spent more time with my family”,’ Dr Zarse said in a video.  

‘What I see on a regular basis is my patient’s surprise at the amount of pain and disability that they have in the end years of their life – and how long it goes on. 

‘Many of these people have severe limitations and disability for 10-20 years, and they can’t believe how long this goes on for. 

‘The number one regret I hear from them is ‘I wish I would have taken better care of myself and I wish I would have gotten started early because I know it would’ve made a huge difference in my life.’ 

‘What I see on a regular basis is my patient’s surprise at the amount of pain and disability that they have in the end years of their life – and how long it goes on,’ he continued

Why is exercising daily important?

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits. Only a few lifestyle choices have as large an impact on your health as physical activity.

Everyone can experience the health benefits of physical activity – age, abilities, ethnicity, shape, or size do not matter.

Source: Benefits of Physical Activity – CDC 

The video has since been viewed more than 1.6million times and many praised the doctor for the insight. 

’20 years as a long term care registered nurse. Sitting is death. Move. Every single day,’ one nurse said. 

‘I’m 76 and still ride my horse, clean stalls, fix fence, cut trees down with my chain saw, and just finished building a 36×12 shed for my equipment,’ another added.

‘I’ve been weight training and doing cardio four to six days a week since 15 now I’m 53 and my body is still a machine loving it,’ a third said. 

One added: ‘A patient once said to me, “It’s cheaper to pay for healthy food when you’re young than to pay for hospital bills when you’re old”.’

Why is cardio important?

With aerobic or cardio exercise, your muscles need more blood and oxygen than when they’re at rest. This causes your heart and lungs to work harder, which, over time, can make these parts of your body stronger

And, as your heart and lungs become stronger, the flow of blood and oxygen in your body will also improve

Source: Healthline 

Why is strength training important?

Strength training can help you: 

  • Develop strong bones
  • Manage your weight
  • Enhance your quality of life
  • Manage chronic conditions
  • Sharpen your thinking skills 

Source: Mayo Clinic 


Earlier this year another doctor specialising in the ‘science of longevity’ has shared the secret to living longe.

Dr Peter Attia, a U.S.-Canadian physician, says exercising for just three hours a week is not only essential for better health, but can reduce your chances of an early death by 50 per cent.

‘Exercising is the most underutilised change we can make to effect the length and quality of our life,’ Dr Attia said. 

He encouraged the inclusion of both strength training and cardiovascular fitness into regular exercise routines – and said eating enough protein was also important. 

‘You want to make sure you’re covering all your bases and that means both lifting weights, because strength is one of the most highly associated features with longevity, but also doing cardiorespiratory fitness,’ he told Sunrise.

Read more: My acne got so bad I cancelled my 15th birthday party and spent the day alone in my room. Now my skin is clearer than ever

Before: Jed Bostock (pictured) cancelled his 15th birthday party the evening before because he was too self-conscious about his crippling acne 

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