Myths of the Aging Physical BodyApr 17, 2013
The messages you hear about aging and your physical body are very negative, provoking fear and dread of advancing years. You are bombarded with ads about drugs, surgery and the latest technology that can make you younger. Aging is inevitable! How you age though, is within your control.
What do you believe about your body and the aging process?
As I get older...
- I will have aches and pains
- My body will decay, fall apart and become decrepit
- I will become weak, fat and limited in my physical abilities
- My joints will become stiff, painful and may need to be replaced
- Walking will become a challenge and I may need assistance
- My energy will be diminished
- Sports participation and competition will be reduced or eliminated
- My posture will deteriorate and I will need orthotics
- I will depend on pain relievers to move
- My balance will decline and there is a good chance I will fall, break a hip and never recover
- I will hurt when I wake up and have trouble getting out of bed
Why do you believe this?
Where do these beliefs come from?
Are they true?
I believe you can feel younger and stronger as you age if you treat your body right. I have seen it in myself and my clients. The problem is we buy into the accepted beliefs (above) and consequently feel powerless to change things for the better. Even worse, we are not aware of our beliefs, which direct our choices.
Recently, I was talking with a client who was going on about aging and she mentioned that she would wear it out. Wear what out, I asked? After a blank stare, and long silence she couldn't come up with an answer. At that moment she realized she was reciting some of the cultural messages she had consumed without full knowledge of what she was saying, nor clarity about if she actually believed the words she spoke.
Age is blamed for many conditions that are due to lifestyle factors! Most of what ails us in our society today stems from the poor choices we make every day. Eating a hamburger instead of a salad, sitting on the couch and watching TV instead of getting outside and taking a walk, staying up late instead of getting the rest your body craves...
Age is blamed for pain which is due to a misaligned body! I always love to ask a client with one sided pain who wants to blame it on their age, how old their pain-free ankle, knee, hip or shoulder is? And, if the pain-free side is indeed the same age, why doesn't it also hurt? If age is the problem, then why doesn't everyone of their age have this pain?
Review the aging list above and notice how most of the negative outcomes can be traced back to body pain, lack of exercise, poor nutrition and loss of physical function. Aging doesn't have to be this way!
Choose a different path for yourself! Don't be limited by what society tells you is acceptable. Don't adhere to the restrictive rules of healthy aging. You can do more than you think you can! If you've set a goal to do an Ironman when you're 70, go for it! Nobody can stop you but yourself.
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