“You should run your life not by calendar but how you feel, and what are your interests, dreams and ambitions.” -John Glenn, the oldest person to board US space shuttle at the age of 77!
While 60 maybe an official age for retirement, more and more senior citizens consider it as a milestone to live life the fullest , overhaul their fitness routine, give wings to their passion, unleash their creativity and sometimes even start a new career. Gone are those days when seniors are often related to creaky joints, sleepless nights, a wardrobe full of medicines. There seems to be a radical shift in the thought process of seniors and their care givers and more and more importance is given to independent living.
More people than before recognize the importance and possibility of retaining vitality through the lifespan. Today’s baby boomers is less inclined than past generation to accept limitation imposed by ageist stereotypes. In today’s scenario, we see many seniors living alone which has changed the expectation regarding functional independence. While there is a radical shift in the thought process, it still remains insufficient.
According to the United Nations Population Fund &HelpAge India, the population of senior citizens would increase to 173 million by 2026, which is about 20% of our population. The health span of this sizable population is a raising concern.
While aging process is largely determined by genetic factors many studies are right now proving that it is heavily influenced by lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. While the fact that active living enhances the quality of life, it is sad to note that only 1/3 to ¼ of the geriatric population actually exercise to meet the criteria. Majority of people 65+ do not engage in physical activity at a level necessary to receive health benefit.
But the best part is it is never too late. Studies have proved that many non-athletes are also ageing with amazing vitality and demonstrate that simply staying fully engaged in life offers the opportunity for vitality, meaning and purpose.
Life is not just about reaching milestones , it is about living the moment. Given our responsibilities, we tend to oversee the happiness in each moment. But now is the time for you to sit back, cherish every moment that comes in your way and live life to the fullest. And to do this, all you have to do is stay active and exercise a little bit regularly.
Yes, active ageing is the secret potion to grow young!