Myths of Aging Persist!

by Steven Carney on April 15, 2013

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I was at a recent gathering of people (most were 50s and 60s, not that old) and wow, was it ever surprising. Or was it? Within the first hour, I heard a stream of aging myths and platitudes, even though I told people how many chronic conditions were largely fixable and that I was a holistic health practitioner. As members of the group mentioned these aging myths, others nodded in agreement. It was like falling down the rabbit hole!

I’ve written about aging myths often and this experience was a sad reminder about how deeply ingrained these myths and falsehoods are! It’s like a religion for some people: they believe!

Here are some of their comments, all tied to age:

  • My knees and joints have deteriorated
  • It’s hard to get up these days
  • I’m stiff and sore each morning
  • I have less energy these days
  • I have high blood pressure/hypertension
  • I feel less fit/more easily injured
  • I have chronic back pain
  • I’m concerned about falling 
  • I get lost and confused
  • Junk foods are fine, we need to enjoy life now

From my perspective, none of these myths are true! The false thinking which ascribes these health problems to age reflect deeper problems. Let’s explore some of the reasons why these myths persist: 

1. Most adults don’t understand their bodies or health

Although many adults can name basic body parts and organs (head, chest, arms, legs, hands, feet, brain, heart, lungs, stomach, liver, intestines), most understand little about the incredible complexity and intricacy of their hormone, immune, digestive, repair, or other systems, including healthy micro/macro nutrient intake. Quite simply, many take their bodies and health for granted, even as they decline (blaming it on age won’t change anything)! 

With little understanding about how their bodies function, most will ignore symptoms like weight gain (metabolic imbalance), aches and pains, indigestion, bloating or other symptoms (some will pop OTC pills for these). Most will only see the doctor only when symptoms are more acute and obvious, waiting too long. The doctor will almost always offer a diagnosis (even if it’s wrong, and at least 150,000 are wrong annually), then offer pills (if only for their placebo effect). Others will ignore their symptoms, believing that diseases or death only happen to other people, not to them, as they live in a state of denial!

Here are some eye-popping body facts to ponder: 

  • You have about 60,000 miles (yes miles) of blood vessels (they can span the globe 2+ times)
  • Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood/day
  • You have more than 200 bones and 600 muscles
  • Some nerve impulses move at about 200 MPH
  • Your digestive tract has billions of bacteria; the healthy/unhealthy ratio based on diet and lifestyle
  • Your hormone and immune systems are far more complex than a computer or smart phone
  • About 70% of your immune system is in your gut, dependent on those healthy bacteria
  • We all fight cancer cells/mutations with our immune system every day

Although this was only a partial list, it’s still a lot to take care of and maintain! Don’t you need to place a high value on your body and all it’s amazing systems? Why do so many people take better care of their car, their house or their external appearance compared to their inner health? We never put sugar in our gas tanks but we put lots in our bodies!

The frustrating ignorance I encountered at the gathering (and that I’m aware of generally), means a large percentage of adults is easily manipulated by fear and emotionally-based drug ads, including the way doctors are indoctrinated into the high-profit world of drugs and procedures (millions are killed or injured by our medical industry annually). For both doctors and patients, drugs seem like the easy way out, even though most are designed not to cure you or anyone in your family! 

2. Too many adults neglect their health after age 35

After years of engaging in unhealthy lifestyle habits (diet, too little activity, smoking, excess alcohol, lack of sleep, etc.), many people begin to notice they don’t feel as energetic as they used to. They assume it’s because they are older. But age is not the cause!

In fact, those health issues are a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. And those same problems are showing up in young people too, with their fast and junk-food habits. Younger adults in their late teens to 30s are having significant health problems, including excess weight/obesity, diabetes, early heart disease/hypertension, and more cancers and strokes (see my previous posts on these problems).

For those over 40, feeling less vital is an outcome from all the years of soda, junk and processed foods taking their toll, making it almost impossible for the body to perform at its best. The decades of bad eating, inactivity, and other bad habits add up, and our bodies run more like rusty clunkers than race cars when we reach our 40s and 50s (epigenetic research has shown that you are what you eat and how you live)!

Are you made of junk food or are you a well-nourished machine? Do you sputter through the day or unleash your inner power and strength at will? The simple truth is that when you don’t focus on keeping your health up every day, you’ll automatically lose ground, given all the complex systems you need to maintain and repair. You’ll be a rusty, old car with an engine that gets worse with each mile! The problem is inattention and neglect, not age!

3. Too many adults buy convenience-food ads

The food industry has been very successful at creating a false connection between convenience, fun, and junk food. These ads often showcase actors enjoying sodas (we spend more than 25 billion on those annually), candy, chips, unhealthy snacks, and processed foods at parties, family gatherings, outdoors, in the car, etc. These foods are, by design, meant to hook you in.

What I heard at the gathering I attended exemplified this totally false construct: That you need junk food indulgences to have fun and feel happy. It’s a total fabrication, but one that would bring a big smile to the soda, junk and processed-food companies; their false marketing has succeeded! We now have the SAD (Standard American Diet), one of the worst in the Western world! As a result, our longevity is way down the list globally and getting worse.

The junk food industry knows that their foods increase cravings because they thoroughly test them in lab settings. Their goal is to maximize cravings and addiction to keep you buying week after week! Of course, those addictions also bring blood sugar problems, high blood presure, weight gain, mood/depression problems, and destroy optimum health over time. They eventually lead to chronic disease and death from obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. Did you know? High sugar levels are a toxin in the body! No matter, it’s about the industry’s hunger for cash, funneling your money into their pockets. That’s their value system.

The food giants have been so successful with their billions spent on ads that many people no longer question their junk as food, even though most don’t qualify as nutritionally beneficial! Epigenetics has shown how unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits activate disease genes, whereas a healthier lifestyle can activate health genes. (Did you realize that thousands of genes are active during metabolism? See my previous posts and articles on nutrition and health).

Sadly, the pap and platitudes I heard at the gathering was a sober reminder of how far we have fallen and how people succumb to their cravings connecting false beliefs and addiction!

Food designers now know how to combine the right amounts of sugar/wheat/refined carbs, salt and fat to drive cravings and food addiction. They have mastered manipulation and deception in their ads. And millions pay the price with faltering health, disease and death. No matter. They made a killing off you for years! Many people spend thousands on their junk annually! Try this: add up all the money you spend on fast food, junk food/snacks, and convenience food over a week. You’ll be shocked! Try this: add up all the money you spend on fast food, junk food/snacks, and convenience food in a week. You’ll be shocked!

The good news is that there is real magic right in front of you but you have to want it, you have to choose it. You can age more slowly than your peers, and enjoy a higher quality of life, something that has more value than gold. Indeed, you can add 10-20 healthy years to your life, even choose to reach 100 when you know how to (I can teach/coach you in about 4 phone calls over several weeks).

4. When you believe aging brings decline, it will

Aging does not mean automatic declines in health or energy. Each day we make choices about what to eat and how to live, and it’s those choices that lead us to where we are (a good 80% of our health as we age is from lifestyle, not genetics, another common scapegoat!). Those who make bad choices will have declining health, even as they deny the connections, just like those at the party. Aging or genetics become the excuse for all the health problems and decline they have from a less-than healthy lifestyle!

And we have a system that says if you’re not sick, you are well! But health is not merely the absence of disease. Like many other areas of life, health is a continuum from optimal health and vitality all to way down to disease and death (imagine multiple stages). Many adults have unnoticed health problems that simmer for years, easily uncovered by screening tests like vitamin D, CRP, VAP BP and others. Eventually, the body starts to break down more significantly. Cell mutations multiply and the problems spread and grow.

So the real reason for declining health with age is simple: too many adults don’t take the small, wise actions to resolve early health problems before they take hold and maintain optimum health (easy to do if you want).

Some examples:

For joint problems and pain (I had a bad knee too, with a badly worn meniscus/knee pain but it’s all healed with nutrition), we can all lower inflammation with a healthier diet, switching out sugary/salty junk and processed foods and veggie oils, which are all pro-inflammatory, for more satisfying choices. Better nutrition plus activity can help improve joints in weeks! Better muscle tone also helps to stabilize joints while stretching keeps muscles, tendons, ligaments more limber and flexible. Chiro can also help joint and musclo-skeletal mechanics, including the chronic back and knee pain I heard about at the party.

I see my chiro about every 6 weeks for wellness care, a proactive approach which keeps me in good musclo-skeletal balance. Even though I’ve been though polio, multiple surgeries, casts, braces, scoliosis, and a recent car accident where I has significant injuries, I have no chronic pain, only occasional aches when I work out too hard! Those muscle aches fade in a day or two and never become chronic. I also hydrate and stay limber, with a few minutes of Yoga most days.

Energy and activity also go together and both are helped by a healthier diet. By eating more whole, unprocessed foods (no they are not more expensive when you realize junk/fast foods ruin your health and make you feel terrible), you will feel better and function better. More healthy foods, such as lean meats, fish, plentiful veggies, fruits, nuts, olives and EVOO are a good start. Avoiding most processed/cured meats, sodas/sugars/wheat and other junk foods which all raise inflammation is also critical with age because most people have already eaten too many of those terrible foods!

Pain, fear of injuries, and overall degeneration are avoidable and fixable, but only when people actually do something about it, including all those mentioned above. As a coach, it’s my job to help educate and bring insights to each client. But only those who have some good motivation qualify. Those who are entrenched in  false beliefs are not coachable and most will surely suffer and die as they are, intent to live in their Matrix-like world of myths.

Finally, what you believe is important! The fatalistic thinking and beliefs about aging I hear so often will become a self-fulfilling prophecy over time. And feeling like a victim because age is the culprit, will perpetuate the fatalistic attitude and continued decline! You will become what you believe you will

So if you consider yourself a visionary, with more wisdom and insights into life and health, and someone who seeks out a long, healthy life, please drop me a line at steve@endsicknessnow.com

I’m happy to help you and add to your knowledge and support your chances to live to 100, free of chronic disease and with vibrant health and energy! Yes, it’s entirely possible but the earlier you start, the better the chances are you will succeed!

Helpful links:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/5-myths-of-aging

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/4-more-myths-of-aging

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/immune-system.htm

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/cell-breach.htm

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/life-roulette

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/boomers-arent-healthy

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/broken-healthcare

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/health-and-disease-myths

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/are-you-a-food-addict

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/fitness-leads-to-long-life

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/live-to-100

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/younger-tomorrow-152200483.html

© 2013 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

{ 2 comments }

latanya April 20, 2013 at 7:36 PM

After looking over a number of the blog articles on your site, I appreciate your writing.
I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon.

Please check out my website as well and let me know what you think.

Steve Carney April 21, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Thanks! I add new articles often. Also look at the Health News page where I have about 400 research links on vitamins, minerals, nutrition, and other health and disease topics.

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