These 6 myths about aging are probably holding you back unnecessarily.
Myth #1: To be old is to be sick.
This myth centers around the belief that aging and disease go hand in hand and individuals are destined to wind up in the nursing home or suffering from a catastrophic illness once they get older.
There are two main stages of aging, Primary Aging and Secondary Aging
Primary aging is Genetic and this is believed to be hard wired, such as being more susceptible to disease, injury or even death.
Secondary Aging is all the environmental factors that influence your aging such as your general lifestyle.
If you are generally active, don’t smoke and eat well, you can literally increase the amount of time you spend on this earth, free from lifestyle related diseases and can delay the aging process.
Society is suffering from an increase in chronic diseases, because of society is getting older.
People over 65 has increased a whopping 147% from 35 million in 2000 to 87 million in 2030 and people over 85 has increased by 400%
And there are a lot of mature adults who are healthy, robust and without any significant functional limitations.
Even in advanced old age there are individuals that attain incredible heights of athleticism and fitness. Just look to the Masters Athletics here in NZ and across the world
Myth #2: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Similar to myth #1 this is the belief that senility and dementia are not only a natural part of the aging process but are inevitable.
Recent evidence regarding brain plasticity proves that the human mind retains its ability to learn throughout the lifespan and declines in cognition are largely avoidable.
There are many lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity levels, dietary choices, alcohol consumption, tobacco usage and level of mental stimulation that have been shown to be important factors in how much cognitive decline occurs with advancing age.
The human mind retains it’s ability to learn and declines in cognition are avoidable & Lifestyle is largely responsible in how much decline
If you want to remain sharp, as you age, then keep your brain challenged. Choose things that make you think while being physically active at the same time.
Golf, Croquet, bowls, Gym training or learning a new skill will keep that brain challenged and young.
Myth #3: The horse has bolted.
It is often believed that once an individual is older it is “too late” to reduce disease risk, increase health status or become fit. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to show that this is not true.
The physiologic capacity for positive change is not lost even in advanced age.
For example, resistance exercise studies done on individuals in their 90’s found that muscle can still grow and become stronger.
We now know that it is never too late to positively benefit from an exercise program.
In the Growing Younger Programme we have seem this for ourselves, Penny was able to lose 45kgs, stop taking medications, and can lift incredibly heavy weights in the gym.
Or one of our oldest client Terry who is 67 has seen huge increases in muscle to body fat in just a few short weeks and literally saved his life.
The bottom line it’s never too late to start an exercise regime. If you are unsure how to get started then contact us here
Myth #4: The secret to successful aging is to choose your parents wisely.
There is no doubt genetics definitely influence disease risk and longevity but their effects are grossly overestimated. I’m only 39 years old and have been suffering from joint pain and discomfort for years.
This is down to my mothers side of the family who are riddled with arthritis.
Studies on centenarians show that there is a genetic influence on their longevity.
However, the overall evidence is clear that the influence of lifestyle and environment are far more important factors in determining your health and functional ability than genetics.
Myth #5: The lights may be on but the voltage is low.
People assume that mature adults become weak and uninterested in sex. Research shows that although the frequency of sexual relations declines, both men and women remain interested and active (if there is compatible partner) well into their 70’s and often beyond.
Society often believes older men are “dirty old men” if they show a health interest in sexual activity as if it were inappropriate. The desire for intimacy, in many forms can remain strong and can, in fact, be a positive factor for continued health and longevity.
Myth #6: The elderly don’t pull their own weight.
There seems to be a widespread belief that older adults are a burden to society and do not contribute to its continued success.
The assumption is that if a person is not working they are not pulling their own weight. This could not be further from the truth.
Mature adults fill many important roles in society and often in unpaid situations. They represent one of the largest volunteer forces and many organizations depend heavily on their contributions of time and effort.
In addition, they fulfill family responsibilities, such as caring for grandchildren so that their parents’ can work.
More recently, the trend of working past typical retirement age is increasing. Trends of working past retirement are common, and often unpaid and are one of the largest volunteer forces. in the world.
Now you know that you can literally change your life. You may be subject to not so great genetics but you can absolutely influence how you spend your life.
Here in the Growing Younger Programme, we specialise in helping people who have either, not exercised in a long time or who have never exercised, and who are suffering from an injury or lifestyle related disease and are wanting a tailored exercise and nutritional solution.
If that sounds like something you would be interested in, feel free to contact us here
The programme is run by Gavyn a RepsNZ Personal Trainer and Alex a Physiotherapist based in Howick, Auckland New Zealand.