Myths of Aging

Decline does not always go along with aging and the following myths help to explain why these six myths are false.

  1. Myth 1 – Your genes predetermine how healthy you are. Not true. How you live your life determines your gene expression even though the gene sequence you were born with is fixed. Gene expression is affected by your thoughts, emotions, levels of stress, sleep, exercise, breathing, and mind-body coordination. Research is on-going in the new science of epigenetics which suggests that we can influence our genes.
  1. Myth 2 – Getting older means feeling older. Not true. It is your biological age that reflects how well your body is functioning and is based on many factors such as blood pressure, body fat, bone density, and cholesterol levels. Your biological age does not have to match your chronological age. The biology of aging is actually determined by how you perceive the process of aging along with your expectations, your beliefs, and how energetic you feel. Therefore, taking good care of yourself can lead to a much younger biological age.
  1. Myth 3 – Your body gets frail as you age. Not true. Frailty is your choice since you have the opportunity to increase both strength and mass of your muscles and improve bone density through exercises, weight-training, and walking. Not exercising – your choice – does lead to frailty as you get older. Many recent studies back this up; see the recent study by Harvard University.
  1. Myth 4 – Your brain is destined to deteriorate over time. Not true. While you do lose brain cells as you age, research shows that some areas of the brain involved with memory and learning continue to produce new nerve cells every day. Lose and replace is how it works! Building new brain cells occurs when you keep your brain active with new activities and learning; learning anything new helps.
  1. Myth 5 – Your energy decreases as you get older. Not true. Energy levels in the body do not depend on age, rather, they depend on your attitude and are influenced by the quality of your life. Great ways to experience an energetic body is through meditation, restful sleep and exercise.
  1. Myth 6 – The older you are, the more unhappy you are. Not true. Happiness has nothing to do with aging. Many studies have shown that people get happier as they age and the later years can be the best time of your life. You can influence your happiness levels by eating healthfully, exercising, taking care of your mind, and staying connected with others.

Taken from 2016, article by Deepak Chopra, M.D.

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