Attitude is Everything in Aging Well

Stay active as you age

Attitude is everything when it comes to aging well. It's a simple statement, yet a very powerful one. It's true, especially for older adults.

I expect a lot of comments about this article. I have heard a lot from those I teach on the topic of attitude. I've read many articles that agree with the statement, so tell me your thoughts and experiences with good vs. bad attitude in aging. I'd like to hear.

In my opinion, the aging process is just that... a process. How a person manages, the process is enormous and so often mismanaged due to poor attitude and outlook.

Attitude is a Big Factor

So many seniors that I run across in my daily teaching of ChiforLiving and Chi for Caring exercise look at their condition as a natural part of aging. The aching, stiffness, soreness, loss of mobility and balance and general decline in health viewed as their lot in life with not much of a choice but to deal with it as "best they can".

For many, there within lays the problem.

They view "best they can" as doing nothing since anything they try will not help. It hurts to reach, to stand, to move, so I will sit and feel pain, and live with it. For others, they view living as something they want as an active participant in. The aches and pains are obstacles to maneuver around, not permanent roadblocks.

Remain Active even in Challenge

But what about the severely or medically challenged you may ask? Of course, there are challenges that cannot be "fixed" yet they're eased to some extent. A lot has to do with the exercise intent and one's motivation.

Chair-bound is chair-bound. But that does not mean totally incapacitated. I work with people every week who had a stroke, has Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, MS, osteoarthritis and so on afflicted who exercise in every class as best they can. They are not able to hear a word I say as I lead the class, but they follow and mimic because they want to keep moving. Others just sit and watch.

Those who are more independent and mobile are also mixed in their attitude toward exercise. Some want to keep their balance, keep moving, keep independent and live as much of the life that they want. They work with me on balance, leg strength, hand mobility, coordination and upper body stretching and regardless of age or condition almost always showing some level of improvement. Many improve to a great extent.

Those who don't participate just sit and watch. They have reasons (or excuses) like "I exercise at home", "my doctor says I should not do too much", "maybe next time" or simply "what's the use, I'm old".

Again I say, attitude is everything when it comes to aging well. What is yours, and how independent do you want to live as you age?



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