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Embrace pro-aging — it’s better for your health

Pro-aging is a relatively new concept rooted in a radical acceptance of how we respond to aging. While many have simply replaced anti-aging ads with ‘pro-aging’ sentiment to target older audiences, the pro-aging movement has continued to gain support. More and more, adults are seeking ways to become proactive about their health long-term. Yet, the question still remains, why has Pro-aging become so prevalent today and how is it different from anti-aging? 

Anti-aging vs pro-aging

Pro-aging is a shift in the belief that aging needs to be prevented. Instead of viewing age as something negative, pro-aging supporters believe that aging is something to look forward to, enjoy and celebrate. This is the complete opposite of anti-aging, as anti-aging beliefs commonly promote how to remain young, and prevent aging from happening altogether. 

However, this mindset leads to many ageist beliefs being internalized very early on in our lives. Not only can these beliefs be detrimental to our health, but ageism encourages the attitude that we expect to become sick and unwell as we get older. The more we discuss ageism, the better we can combat the negative effects that these beliefs can have on our health.

Internalizing anti-aging sentiments can be harmful to your health

It’s no secret that Anti-aging advertisements have plagued the minds of many young adults for the past few decades. Every generation seems to dread the existential crisis of turning another year older! Yet, we inevitably age regardless of the endless barrage of Anti-aging products advertised for any adult Thirty and over. But when did Forty or Fifty become old? And more importantly, what are the side effects of these beliefs? 

Well, according to recent studies, anti-age thinking is actually very poor for our well-being. In fact, research indicates that negative thoughts around aging, cause you to age faster. Surprising, yet it makes perfect sense. When it comes to our health, negative thoughts can actually reduce our lifespan by several years. 

According to Clinical Neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Amen, the way our brain reacts when we have negative thoughts actually degrade the most important area of the brain, the cerebellum. Our cerebellum is essential in processing complex information and controlling our motor functions, which can lead to increased clumsiness, and poor cognitive processes over time. In fact, continuous negative thoughts have a way of permanently rewiring the neural pathways in our brains. 

These changes can become permanent and continue to affect other areas of our lives, such as our mood, activity levels, self-control, and ability to make healthy decisions. So what do you think can happen when you have negative thoughts about your age? It’s no different, these negative thoughts surrounding aging can contribute to poor cognitive function, poor self-esteem, and decrease our desire to be proactive about our health. The worst part is ageism is so ingrained into our society that negative thoughts regarding age are already prevalent before we even reach certain milestones in life. 

Benefits of pro-aging thinking 

A positive attitude toward aging causes many to adopt healthy habits early on, leading to a healthier lifestyle. However, that’s not the only benefit of adopting a pro-aging mentality. It can also improve quality of life, increase life span, and even reduce common diseases such as dementia. 

As we age a common misconception is that we become less capable. Although this isn’t always the case, many adults begin to lose a sense of independence, or belief that they can complete tasks on their own. Whereas, those without limiting beliefs regarding their age, tend to be more self-assured, focusing on living a happy and fulfilling life. 

The psychological component of aging has shown that simply thinking negatively increases the likelihood of debilitating health issues. To make matters worse, due to internalized negative beliefs regarding age, older adults are less likely to seek help to improve their health when it matters the most.  

You see, ageism doesn’t just change the way we think about ourselves, it prevents us from realizing how fulfilling life can be well into our adult lives. All of the amazing things that come along with getting older, are often disregarded when we should be celebrating them. The best way to combat these beliefs is to continue to do more of what you love, stay active, and do not limit your experiences. Instead of going against age, support your body at every stage of life. 

Bold programs

Bold programs support exercise for everyone, at any stage of fitness. There are a host of classes available to Bold members to support balance, strength, stamina and flexibility. The best part is Bold programs are tailored to your specific needs and goals. Staying active with Bold fosters a pro-age mindset , with fun classes to keep you strong and healthy. 

Signing up for a membership with Bold is simple! Once you answer a few questions to access your health, get started with a customized program just for you.