We’ve all heard about aging gracefully, which generally means accepting the conditions of old age such as weaknesses and acting in a more mellow and stereotypical manner. However, as life expectancy is increasing across the world and living up to 80, 90 and even 100 years of age is the new normal, I strongly believe that aging healthily has become far more important.
I remember as a child, whilst playing, we would impersonate old people as being frail, walking slowly with a hunched back, and not being able to lift much, let alone do house chores. That was the case then, when our parents would take care of our grandparents as they grew older. But today, we are embracing the nuclear family way of living and don’t expect or wish to be dependent upon our children. Plus, living like the stereotype I used to play, for 20, 30 or even 40 years seems like a nightmare, don’t you agree?
What makes me feel sad is seeing young people in their 20s experiencing body aches, lacking proper nutrition, being stressed out with the pressure of work and unrealistic social media perceptions, and already starting to get chronic conditions that were unheard of for that age until just a decade ago. On the other hand, I get inspired by all of you who live an active lifestyle, have strong bodies, take care of yourselves and are on your way to blossoming into old age.
The world is seeing this phenomenon and has coined the word ‘perennials’ to describe those of you who live life to the fullest and are physically and mentally active no matter your age. In fact, I believe that it’s not just physical exercise and nutrition, but also being active, caring for yourself and being mentally and socially engaged that prolong those years and the quality of your life.
Let us all take such a comprehensive view to aging, to live happily and not have to depend upon helpers or our children to get by, but see them as luxuries and sources of happiness to live comfortably. I strongly feel that our health and complete well-being are our core strengths to live up to our standards, no matter the number of candles on our birthday cakes.
So let’s eat nutritious food, engage and maintain our social lives, live in safe and supportive communities, and do what we love every day. Let’s challenge and change the world’s stereotype of old age, to one of being active, smart, full of life, and role models to the younger generation. Let this change begin with us and our thinking. Let’s redefine what aging gracefully means to us and not let anything stop us from doing what we love – physically, mentally, or spiritually.
Do you want to join me on this journey? Tell me what you think about aging and your ideas on how we could live healthier lives with our young minds.