When I look back to my parents when they were my age (66), I would have considered them older than I am now, but not “old age”. My dad was still working in the company that he owned, and my mom was still golfing. Even now, my dad is 96 and I would not consider him “old age”.
According to the Daily Mail, 95-year-old Finnish woman, Magit Tall, may have set the record for the world’s oldest woman to complete a bungee jump. Magit walks with the assistance of a cane and took a nearly 500-foot plunge, with the aid of a tandem jumper. She said that she wanted to make the jump before she died.
Johanna Quaas is living proof that age is just a number as the 92-year-old grandmother is still competing as the world’s oldest gymnast. Quaas, who was born in Germany, took part in her first gymnastics competition at the age of 10 and has been hooked on the sport ever since.
Harriette Thompson, became the oldest woman to finish a marathon in 2015 at 92 years and 93 days. She finished the marathon in 7:24:36, breaking the record for oldest woman to run a marathon previously held by Gladys Burrill, who at 92 years and 19 days ran 9:53 at the Honolulu Marathon in 2010.
When is Old Age?
“It’s mostly about losing independence: 79% of survey respondents said people have reached old age when they can no longer live on their own.” (American Society on Aging, The West Health Institute/NORC Survey on Aging in America, 2017)
According to a Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends survey, they found that you’re really as old as you feel.
- Sixty percent of adults aged 65 and over said they feel younger than their actual age
- 32 percent said they feel their exact age
- 3 percent said they feel older than their age.
Also from the Pew Survey, perceptions of the onset of old age varied widely according to the respondent’s age.
- People under 30 believe that old age strikes before the average person turns 60
- Middle-aged respondents said that old age begins at 70
- Adults aged 65 or older put the threshold closer to 74
- Nearly 8 in 10 people aged 70+ say they can live independently and accomplish daily tasks without assistance from caregivers or community resources. (The United States of Aging Survey, 2012)
- Only 3.6% of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes. Elderly men are likely to live with a spouse while elderly women are more likely to live alone.
- By age 75, about 1 in 3 men and 1 in 2 women don’t get ANY physical activity.
- Elderly people occupy over 1/3 of all federally subsidized housing.
There is a choice between old age and active aging
It is a choice for most people. The decisions you make, your habits and your lifestyle all affect how you live your senior years. Even if you made poor health choices earlier in life, you can change direction right now. It’s up to you. BUT you have to do something about it NOW!!!
The choice is yours. If you are making smart choices for your body and for your mind and spirit you will look better, feel better and age better. In my next article we will talk about active aging and how to get on the path to Ageless Fitness.
Sharan Tash is the owner of TASH Wellness for Women and Ageless Fitness, a boutique size, women only health, wellness and fitness facility in Skokie. As a 66 year old personal trainer and Functional Aging Specialist that has reduced her weight by 177 pounds, she understands what it takes to be healthy. She partners with women on their unique journey to health through a 6 pronged approach. Sharan can be reached at [email protected] or you can call her at 847-379-5777.