“Everyone’s doing it”
But I’m not talking about some crazy fad or some dangerous prank.
I’m talking about what is happening to all of us each and every day: Getting Old
And believe it or not, you can do something about it, right here, right now.
Last fall, I had the fabulous opportunity to get in on the ground floor of Pfizer’s Get Old initiative. Like with all ground floor projects, once you’ve started something great, there is no where else to go but UP in scope and influence. And that is just what Pfizer has done: improve and update their project to better reflect a philosophy of maintaining a conversation about aging and living better. I love how they want to actively challenge people of all ages to rethink what it means to Get Old in order to break self-imposed and societal limitations and discover a better quality of life at every age.
In a recent Get Old Survey, nearly nine out of ten people who live in the U.S. believe they will live a long life, yet 40 percent believe being old is something to fear due to potential health and financial concerns. Instead of waiting for those potential situations to develop down the road, individuals are better off taking action today. “A lot of how we get old is up to us,” says Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer. “Taking action today to better your health improves your odds of enjoying a longer, more active and satisfying life. And now is the time to help our communities prepare to meet the needs of older people, for the benefit and enrichment of all.”
I’m all about being in charge now to prepare for my future possibilities. Take my exercising. Even though I have been working out for over 22 years, I recently found myself on a plateau and sooo bored with my exercise routine. Knowing how important it is to do some kind of regular exercise daily, I knew if I didn’t do something different, I was at risk of loosing the benefits that I have worked so hard to maintain all these years. So what did I do? I joined a gym and began taking classes to improve my energy level and outlook. I also bought a Groupon certificate for a personal training, 5 week Boot Camp. My hope with this Boot Camp is to 1) not die (I’m not kidding here. I’ve heard these “camps” can be rewarding but extremely grueling) and 2) gain new knowledge for me to carry on on my own in the future.
How else am I taking charge? Continuing my quest to eat right by staying up to date on the latest healthy eating research, then incorporate that knowledge in to my daily meal plans. For example, I recently took some classes on using whole grains in your diet and I’m excited to share that information with you soon.
Getting old on my terms doesn’t stop with just me. After all, I don’t want to get old all by myself. That would be really lonely. Recently, I added the title of “coach” to my long list of other job titles. Not an athletic coach but a healthy living coach to my husband who has added 25 unneeded pounds to his very under-exercised, 54 year old self. I couldn’t make/guilt trip/nag him to start eating better or exercising more (Believe me, I tried). Nope. He had to come up with the motivation from within himself. Finally, a week ago, he decided he was ready for a healthy change. (Hallelujah) To jump-start his new goals, I went with him to Jenny Craig and observed as he got all set up with their program. My role now is to help him track his progress, keep the fridge door closed, and his tennis shoes ready as he works to undo his bad health habits.
And while my kids are young adults, starting their own families, they are ahead of the game. They already realize that they need to practice healthy goals to have the energy to chase their kids now and to continue to be productive and happy later on. I truly believe that my example of a positive get old attitude is the best legacy I can provide for them.
Starting June 5th in Times Square, New York and on Pfizer’s dynamic Get Old web site, individuals from all walks of life are claiming their age and committing to taking whatever steps they need to to age and go forward on their terms. I’ve already declared my age and encourage you to do the same. It is a great place to be inspired and explore #LetsGetOld.
There’s no denying it– everyone is getting old. But how you get old is up to you — and only you. What are you doing to take charge of how you grow old?