Grow but not Age

Putting days into life is ageing.  Putting life into days is growing.  Let us grow and not age.

The hardest aspect of getting older is accepting the bodily changes that Mother Nature dishes out during your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond.  Ageing is a simple fact of life.  Most people do not appreciate ageing like they should.  Of course, not everyone is lucky to live long enough to experience ageing.

Theories about ageing are changing rapidly as scientists are learning more about human possibilities.  One thing is quite clear from their studies:  Though ageing is inevitable and there is no way to stop the clock, to slow down ageing is a definite possibility.  Surely, we all know men rapidly slide downhill in their fifties; but we also see men in their seventies and eighties with tremendous energy and enthusiasm.

I have known some 19-year-olds who use anti-ageing cream and also some 75-year-youngs who radiate health in every blood cell.  So, growing old is just a number if you are healthy.  Do not allow yourself to be defined as old.  You are as young as you feel.  The late comedian George Burns booked performances for dates well past his 100th birthday.  He worked almost to the very end, and loved every minute of it.   He never let the fact that he was ageing affect him.  It’s beautiful to see another sunrise and live another day with your loved ones.  You must grow and not age.

Nutrition does play its role as we age.  Emotions do play their role and so does your attitude.  Maybe you have lost something in certain aspects, but you have gained so much more in other aspects.  And once you realise this and can see your future through optimistic eyes, you can minimise your chances of feeling old.  Not only will optimism help you to be a little happier with the inevitable, it also helps you to live longer.

Blaming your aches and pains on age itself, rather than on the actual cause (Oh, I have knee pain because I am 50) may shorten your life.  Once you say a problem is due to old age, you have lost half the battle before it is fought.  Attitude is something to keep in mind, as you are about to run the most challenging laps of your life.  It is absolutely true that by having the right attitude, not only you will live longer but you will also feel younger for a longer time.  Regardless of race, religion, socio-economic background and even diet, all those who age the best seem to share a good sense of humour.  They do not take life too seriously.  Growing is good; ageing is not.

Ageing is an ongoing process.  There are no set rules that tell you that you will have trouble walking at this age or will lose your memory at that age.  With modern ways of living, everything has changed.  Youngsters don’t take care of themselves; they don’t have breakfast and they have their lunch anytime, anywhere and anything.  Many don’t carry food from home, so have health problems.  They are out for night shows and don’t sleep in time.  These people grow up to old age faster.  Yesteryear’s people had a steady lifestyle with systematic approach to eating and sleeping.  Their beard did grey to a mixed salt and pepper shade, but they looked younger than their age.

‘My doctor has put me on a strict diet’.  ‘My doctor doesn’t let me do anything ever since I suffered heart attack’.  ‘My doctor is going to be mad at me when he finds out that I have been secretly eating sweets and occasionally smoking’.  If you hear yourself into these statements, it is possible that you are making your doctor the ‘excuse’ for your health condition.  Through the years, there has been a growing dependence on doctors to cure all sorts of ailments.  Studies over the last 30 years have indicated that as many as two-thirds of patients who visit a doctor are from worried category.  As a result, major and minor tranquilisers and depressants have been prescribed in abundance as the temporary answer for life’s problems.  As a result, you age faster than you realise.  Take control of your health.  Be on diet or exercise because you want to and not because you are put through.

You may not be able to outrun the clock, but researches seem to indicate that you can keep one step ahead of it.  How you age is more a reflection of how you live, an accumulation of things you do every day and to a great degree these things are under your control.  And it is never too late to change.  Researches show that this wonderful body of ours is almost indefinitely renewable if we give it a chance.  Simply by taking charge of certain key actions in your life, like eating the right food at the right time and exercising regularly you can boost your life expectancy by up to 15 years.

Don’t smoke.  Exercise regularly.  Have a positive attitude.  Learn.  Eat a good diet.  One of the secrets of ageing well is the ability to come to grips with a decline in physical function that is real, but still being able to use what you have to the fullest.  May be, you will never be a champion runner, but realise that even though you may be older, you can still do a lot of things and still do them well.

Mentally, you are every bit the man you have always been.  The problem solving abilities are still stronger and will not begin to fade until your mid seventies, especially if you remain sharp with crossword puzzles and other brain teasers.  Most of what we blame as ageing has nothing to do with getting older.  Instead, it is a question of staying active in body and mind.  Putting days into life is ageing.  Putting life into days is growing.  Let us grow and not age.  So, grow with every year and not age!!  Happy growing.

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