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Getting Older or Getting Better
How to embrace life at any age - Page 1

"You're not getting older, you're getting better."

Did you know that decades-old phrase came from a commercial about hair coloring? It was really a cynical move on Madison Avenue's part to attach that saying to a product meant to "cover up the gray" - after all, if you were getting better why did you need to dye your hair and hide your age?

(Article continued below.)

The dilemma in our society is twofold: first, it worships youth, yet everyone eventually leaves their 20s - and 30s, etc. - behind (that is, unless they have the misfortune to die well before their time). Second, our heads are filled with preconceived notions of what "getting older" is supposed to be - shriveled and dried up, achy and creaky, forgetful and out of touch with life. Too many of us buy into this myth, so it's no wonder no one wants to get old.

The truth is that much of what we believe about aging is a lie. The fact that so many people become shriveled, creaky and out of touch with life just proves how powerful our minds are. As we think, so we become. So, conversely, if we are able to deeply and thoroughly change our beliefs about age, we actually can become better. The mind, however, can be a stubborn thing - it fixes on a belief and takes it as fact. Sometimes it's easier to begin changing your thinking from the inside out. This is why exercise becomes increasingly more important as you go along in life.

Exercise is one of the biggest myth busters around. There was a time, not so long ago, really, when it was assumed that elderly people couldn't and shouldn't exercise anymore. Then researchers did a study in which they went into a nursing home and shoved weights into the hands of the frail, 80 and 90-year-old residents. Did these seniors crumble and shatter under the extra stress that was put on their fragile bones? On the contrary - they became stronger and more mobile. Their mental attitude improved. Strength training did wonders. Strength training, actually, does wonders for everyone, no matter how many years they have. It's empowering to feel strong and have energy, to have better balance and look better, too.

Next page >> Using and Misusing the Body... and Mind

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