I would love to know what YOU think about aging? Don’t be shy, please let me (and others) know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
It may well be two totally different thoughts or ideas.
But that’s ok…….things can always change.
Let me tell you what I have found in my 70+++years that works wonders:
Anti Ageing – the only way to halt and reverse the process is by Active Ageing.
Mention “active ageing” at a dinner party and most people tend to only think about it in terms of older people.
Something they don’t need to be concerned with.
Or, their eyes may even roll then glaze over.
This is why……….and probably what they are not aware of yet.
Seriously though……we must all strive to understand this concept; a lack of participation in “active ageing” affects everyone, regardless of age.
Active Ageing and Healthy Ageing have a direct relationship with your independence in later life – that’s why active aging is so important to all of us.
My aim is to help as many people as I can to stay in charge of their own lives for as long as possible as they age.
By answering this most asked question for you: “Can strength training reverse the aging processing and help me live independently for longer?”
And by offering you an incentive, an understanding and a strategy for engaging in an active ageing program you can do for the rest of your life because one of the strongest predictors of longevity is fitness.
I hope you will join me on the journey and reap the rewards.
Active Ageing Motto
“Active Ageing has no start or finish. It is purely a way of living throughout life’s journey. You just have to change your current mode of thinking about ageing…..it is not a roadblock to your minds adoption of a mantra of well-being.”
FACT: Active Ageing is the Most Important Thing You Can do for Your Body and Your Independence.
It is the only true anti ageing medication I know of that works.
And you will understand why when you read these sobering facts regarding older Australians; and from what my research tells me, it is pretty much the same for the rest of the western world:
70% or 7 out of 10 older people are either overweight or obese.
87% or nearly 9 out of 10 people aged 65 and over have at least one chronic condition……i.e. are on some form of medication.
20% or 1 in 5 Australians aged 65 and over experienced some form of disability that limits activity.
The big one…….only 17.2% of older Australians meet the physical activity guidelines. Starting is what’s stopping most people. So, get started.
Active ageing is about successful and healthy aging – it’s not enough to just live longer.
Healthy Ageing will also help you to prevent and manage obesity plus other chronic conditions, reduce the risk of falls, improve your balance, maintain memory and brain function, stay independent and keep socially connected.
The goal is to approach the century mark living a full and active life, not residing in a long-term aged care facility with very little quality of life.
If you want to age well and be secure in the thought that you will have independence into your retirement years, preferably, you need to start when you are younger rather than later on in life.
For successful ageing to become the accepted norm, we need to make fundamental shifts in the way we think about ageing as individuals and as a society at large.
Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath and colleagues defined successful ageing as “reaching old age disease-free and fully functional; without disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases”.
Hard to disagree with that one, isn’t it?
But don’t despair…….just because you may already be in your 60’s or 70’s it is never too late to be the person you could have been (or would still like to be).
Research studies show that becoming physically active at this age is very beneficial for your overall health…….both cognitive and physical.
Check out how Even a 100 year old can improve with training.
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of Active Aging.
“Active ageing applies to both individuals and population groups. It allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society according to their needs, desires, and capacities, while providing them with adequate protection, security, and care when they require assistance.”
But it certainly doesn’t motivate me to jump up and do something about my long term health and fitness which, in turn, will greatly affect my longevity and independence.
“Active Ageing” is the two words I use to encourage my clients, and others, to take a serious look at their current state of health and fitness in relation to where they want to be in their seventh, eighth and ninth decade of life.
The younger you are the less you will think this idea of healthy ageing doesn’t apply to you.
But your thinking is flawed. The time to start is right now. Regardless of how old you are!
It can be getting too late when you reach 70 and are overweight fighting off high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Hard for me to say, but not much to look forward to, is it?
Now in my 70’s myself I have noticed people generally don’t die of old age; they die of inactivity and poor lifestyle choices.
Ageing is out of your control. How you handle it though, is in your hands.
FACT: Exercise is both your best defence and offense.
What is the Active Ageing Movement?
You could say it is my own little piece of self-indulgence; my platform for inspiring people to do more and to be more as they age…….and stimulating baby boomers to live more fulfilling and adventurous lives and ensure you have a quality of life.
My thoughts and feelings are well summed up by this quote from the Harvard article by Nilofer Merchant: “My goal is to be someone who socializes the idea that physical activity matters, and that we each matter enough to take care of our health.”
I also believe, Active Ageing isn’t about holding onto your youth — it is about maximizing the opportunities of ageing and maintaining your independence. It is akin to saving for your retirement – it’s your super so to speak.
It is all about recognizing the importance of healthy aging and having an active ageing strategy.
The following definitions might also help to understand the importance of what I believe to be the Holy Grail of your health and fitness in your retirement years.
Dictionary Definitions of Active, Ageing and Movement
Engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits.
Participating or engaged in a particular sphere or activity.
Doing things that require physical movement and energy.
Characterized by action rather than by contemplation or speculation.
Expressing action as distinct from mere existence or state.
Having a chemical or biological effect on something.
The process of growing old.
The process of growing old or developing the appearance and characteristics of old age.
Aging is defined as a decline or loss (a “de-tuning”) of adaptation with increasing age.
Positive ageing is a term used to describe the process of maintaining a positive attitude, feeling good about yourself, keeping fit and healthy, and engaging fully in life as you age.
“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” – Carol Welch
A group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas (in this case, I would add health, fitness, longevity, and independence).
The act or process of moving people or things from one place or position to another.
A series of organized activities working toward an objective.
A group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it.
A change in someone’s attitude, opinion, or behaviour, especially over a period of time.
A change that leads towards improving a situation or solving a problem.
If you think this Movement is something you’d like to be a part of, then please share this article with your friends and like our Facebook page – thanks.
Active Ageing and Healthy Ageing
Let’s not get confused here – these two are like twins. You can’t have one without the other.
What we need to know is, “Healthy ageing is defined as ‘the process of developing and maintaining functional ability that enables well-being in older age’. Older Australians are a heterogeneous group, not least in terms of their degree of independence.”
There is one thing I would dearly love to see, is the cosmetics industry move away from anti-aging and advocate healthy aging. It’s hard to make big dollars out of something that requires effort to obtain results, so don’t hold your breath.
Here’s the important thing to remember; functional strength training, coupled up with some balance exercises, will have a major impact on the quality of your life – it really is a scientifically proven “anti-aging” treatment…….and it works.
FACT: Exercise is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth so far.
This is exemplified by Dr Gabe Mirkin, who writes some excellent books and articles about health and fitness, especially for people with a few miles up like me; he had this to say about the benefits of active ageing and the value of regular exercise………..
“In 1490, Ponce de Leon set out to find the fountain of youth. He didn’t find it, and now, more than 500 years later, the only mechanism ever found to prolong life and delay aging is exercise.
There is no data whatever to show that antioxidants, vitamins, or anything else prolongs life. All tests that are used to measure aging really measure physical fitness. A fit 70-year old will score younger on aging tests than an out-of-shape 20-year-old.
Scientists measure aging with a test called VO2max, your maximal ability to take in and use oxygen.
Studies from Ball State University, Courtland State, Washington University in St. Louis and Mt Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee show that intense exercise maintains fitness.
People who do not exercise lose 15 percent of their fitness per decade; those who exercise at low intensity lose nine percent, while those who exercise intensely barely lose any fitness at all.”
Where to From Here – Protecting Your Future Health and Independence
One of the most common health/fitness problems occurs due to the amount of muscle mass you lose as you age……..it is called sarcopenia.
Everyone suffers from it to some degree but very few have ever heard about it……..and doctors never seem to mention it…….why I don’t know.
The Symptoms of Sarcopenia are often the root cause of many health-related issues like loss of balance and serious falls which usually cause debilitating, and often fatal injuries.
It is the main reason why I wrote what I feel is one of my most important articles, which everyone should take the time to read: Why Strength Training is SO Important as You Start Ageing and how to reverse age-related muscle loss.
From ages 30 to 50 is where you can lay the foundation for the years ahead and give your body the capacity to ward off the many lifestyle diseases so present in today’s baby boomer (and older) generations.
Buddhist Wisdom says; “The trouble is, you think you have time.”
And that’s where the rot sets in.
Another one of our modern-day medical problems is we put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it.
There is no doubt that our prolonged life expectancy is a good thing, but improvements in treatment means people are often living with many more chronic conditions, which can be very challenging to manage.
We all know medical science does some really great things but often at the expense of quality of life…..and this is where I believe everyone, as an individual, has to bear some of the responsibility.
And this is what I believe Active Ageing is all about. Remember……resting is rusting.
One of my old mentors Dr. Gabe Mirkin sums up his thoughts on the subject well here: “Each day that you spend not moving your muscles weakens your heart, so you may eventually die of heart failure. When an obituary says a person died of “natural causes,” that often means the cause was heart failure, usually because they spent their last months or years moving very little or not at all. A key to prolonging your life and preventing disease is to keep on moving.” – Dr. Gabe Mirkin
People need education, not more medication.
I know ageing is out of your control..…..but how you handle it, is in your hands.
Just one of the reasons why I concur with the following……”Not exercising is the most common modifiable cause of chronic disease (Can Med Assoc J, 2006;174: 801–809).”
And I’ve always liked this definition of living well from the University of California, Davis’s Student Health Services website: “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.
Wellness is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”
Recently I read some research saying, “People who do not exercise lose 15 percent of their fitness per decade; those who exercise at low intensity lose nine percent, while those who exercise intensely barely lose any fitness at all.”
So am I starting to convince you yet that exercise is the answer – the miracle pill we have all been looking for?
Consider for a moment your current lifestyle; are you active enough to benefit your long-term health and keep your body fit?
I know there can be many reasons for this but a couple of the more common ones I come across are lack of knowledge…….that is, not knowing what and how to do the exercises and how to put a program together, fear of doing the wrong thing, lack of support (join a group helps here) and the big one – TIME – the lack of it.
I can’t solve all of your problems but I have done something special for you that’s all about maximizing the opportunities of ageing and maintaining your independence.
It is in another article on Anti-Aging Exercise Ideas to Help Combat the Aging Process that is packed full of links to exercise videos, PDF’s to download and exercise programs for beginners and upwards.
Everything you could possibly need to change your life forever.
If what you need is not there, then please let me know.
My goal is to help you live a fuller life by having the level of health and fitness necessary to enjoy the things that mean the most to you right up until you last gasp…….and that is your independence.
Now you can see why Active Ageing = Anti Ageing.
It will change your whole life……forever.
We rise by lifting others so please do your bit too – Like and Share. Thanks.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
Nugget 1: “The goal is not to defeat death. No one can do that. The goal is to delay and slow decline, anyone can do that.” – Marc Middleton
Nugget 2: “It isn’t what you did in the past that will affect the present. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.” – Paulo Coelho
Nugget 3: “Aerobic exercise will give us life; strength training will make it worth living.” – the late Dr. Henry Lodge, co-author of the life-altering best-seller “Younger Next Year”. This is recommended reading.
And one last reminder just before I go: