How old are you? Really?

By Dr. Caroline Creager, PT, DPT

The Surveyor

Is there any truly good way to answer that question? As time and science march on, the answer to that question becomes more blurred.

Young children are eager to point out they are not four years old but rather they are exactly 4 1/2 years old, to accentuate their advanced years. Of course most young people are proud to announce they are “finally” 21 years old. Sometime not too far past that 21-year-old benchmark, most of us decide sharing our age with others is something we’d rather not do. Perhaps that is because life, popular opinion or even medical professionals warn us, had better be enjoyed in our young years while we can because they are all too fleeting. 

Perhaps you have noticed “real age” quizzes in the media and been tempted to see how you stack up. There are even similar tests on social media sites that assure you that you are actually 30 years younger than your birth certificate would have you believe.

An anonymous quiz on your real age can’t begin to know you or even see you perform in your daily life, but aims to stroke your ego and give some bragging rights between friends. There are, however, several good markers that will help you determine just how you can improve your real age and get on with a healthy, balanced and exciting life, regardless of what that age may be.

Several years ago, after scientific studies were released acknowledging that, for instance, not every 50-year-old feels exactly the same, medical and lay people alike looked for reasons why that would be true.

The most common answers to the age question, apart from genetic issues, have proved to be fairly simple. The way we each approach our own life is perhaps the biggest determining factor in how we feel as we age. Let’s face it: if we don’t feel good, we usually don’t look so hot.

This is the beginning of a new year, so many of us decide to do something drastic to get into shape and become healthier. Most of us know we need to get some regular form of exercise. We also know we need to eat healthfully. However, most of us also know we will find it harder and harder every year to get into — and stay in better shape.

Thanks to the abundant studies on real-age issues, we have learned real-age is about far more than fitting into our skinny jeans. It is about how well we age and how we feel as we do it.

The axiom that says “70 is the new 50” can only hold true if we take advantage of the increased opportunities to exercise wisely and eat those foods that are actually going to work with our bodies to help us actually enjoy the aging process as much as possible.

Eat, play and enjoy improving your “real age” during 2019.

 

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