Is healthy aging the oxymoron of our generation? September was Healthy Aging month , and I found it a good time to take stock of my health discipline. For those of you in denial that you are aging at all, let me harsh your buzz by saying – you are aging. But are you aging in a healthy or unhealthy way?
A study in Current Biology found clues around why females may outlive males in the animal kingdom. The study was with fruit flies – it seems their one month life is a good gauge for us. That study talked about mitochondrial DNA factors that cause men to age and die more rapidly than females. Most statistics show women are living longer than men by 7 years, and we need to make sure those seven years are good ones. We need to focus on how to age well.
In my situation, we have a household with three females, and we likely all will live into our 90s. Our daughter was born in 2003 so there is a chance she will see 2103 – the 22nd century! I believe living longer is a good thing if you are staying healthy, able to be active, able to enjoy life. There is an opportunity, and potential issue, for women related to greater longevity – we want that longevity to be a positive, not a negative.
My view of healthy aging is to live through mid-life without the need of significant drugs and surgeries that can compromise your system. Yet, staying healthy is easier said than done when we are taking care of kids, parents, work groups, nonprofits, etc. Being able to sleep enough, eat fresh foods, exercise and live moderately is an amazing challenge. I exercise each day, but I fail miserably at the other three. Just as savings discipline is critical, health discipline will be my next great area to conquer. So, is healthy aging a possibility or an oxymoron? How are you aging healthily?