Updated: Dec 18, 2021
“The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.” – Jack London
As a health care provider working in the physical therapy field I get to hear many patients complain about body aches, stiffness and pain. “I just can’t move like I used to when I was younger, I’m just plain old” is a mantra uttered by many of my patients during our daily conversations. They assume that the source of their misery comes from the inevitable fate of growing old. Life has taken the best out of them, and the only thing to do is wait around for death.
These poor unfortunate souls are not alone in blaming their age for disabling their bodies. Sadly, this false correlation between old age and disability is so ingrained in our society that it has found its way into the medical community. It is not uncommon for health care professionals to point at age as the reason for many ailments that plague patients, especially those conditions that medicine has not been able to accurately comprehend.
In this century in America more people seem to live longer, but not better. Many people grow old, but not graciously. Meanwhile, a “select” few seem to avoid the aging process, remaining active and creative until their last breath. How do they do it? Is it in their genes? Well, genes can be a contributing factor, but my 20 years of experience working in healthy aging around the globe has shown me that lifestyle choices can deteriorate humans rapidly, preserve their health or even reverse signs of “negative aging”.
My intention through this Ittaika blog is to share my experience and knowledge about Healthy Aging, ponder questions and brainstorm ideas while we place together the different pieces of the aging puzzle. We all deserve to age gracefully and look forward to each day with a sense of determination and wonder. Aging is part of life, and the better we understand it the more equipped we are to take care of our well-being and thus enjoy quality of life until our last joyful breath.