What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about aging?
Do you imagine a life of limiting what you enjoy because of medical conditions? A time of decline? A life full of doctor's appointments?
Or do you imagine a life full of vitality? Feeling amazing so you can continue to do all the things you love well into your golden years?
We hope imagine the latter, but unfortunately most only picture the first scenario.
It's an understatement to say that our society holds tightly to a negative view of aging. It's pervasive in the ways we talk about older adults and also very apparent in advertising. It seems we are on a never-ending quest for “anti-aging” everything.
We often make the mistake of associating aging with decline, and these views impact the way in which older adults view their health. We make assumptions we'll decline both mentally and physically as we age.
But are we really declining because of age itself or because our views on aging influence our behavior? I would argue the latter.
Discussions about aging often imply we become too weak to participate in life in a meaningful way, or that mental decline is inevitable. When people start to believe they are “too old to…” they stop doing activities that keep them healthy. The minute we start to believe we can no longer do something simply because we're just “too old” then we create a learned dependence upon others to do things for us. This contributes to a cycle of muscle weakness and decline.
Weakness and physical decline are NOT inevitable aspects of aging, but instead are the result of underutilizing our bodies because of a belief of being "too old". What we've discovered here at ABC is that it's possible to be old and strong, just as it's possible to be young and weak.
So by making a very simple shift to change your views around aging, you hold the power to impact your health in a positive way for decades to come! Aging is an inevitable part of life, and we can age gracefully if we choose. We are all just older adults in training. Bring a growth mindset back to aging and watch your health take off.