Healthy Living Blog

Are You Getting ‘Older’ Because It’s Expected?

There is a cultural expectation in New Zealand that you should retire at the age of 65. After this, the list of common ailments affecting older Kiwis is almost taken-for-granted as part of the aging process.

Why should YOU comply?

Dr Deepac Chopra wrote in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, “A mandatory retirement at age of 65 sets an arbitrary cutoff date for our social usefulness. Medically, the result of this can be disastrous,” he says. “In the first few years after retirement, heart attack and cancer rates soar.  Early death then overtakes people who were otherwise healthy before they retired.”

Chopra goes on to explain how our personal and social expectations regarding age then create and cause premature aging. In other words, if we instead kept working (in a profession we enjoy) with purpose and fulfilment and disregard the number that is our age, we would each live healthier, longer lives.

Sian McDiarmid of 2KO International UK reminds us that, in cultures that don’t have a concept of ‘retirement’, like Okinawa, people are proven to live happier, healthier lives for up to ten years longer than in the West.

The IEA (Discussion paper No:46) has examined the statistics and agrees that ‘after retirement’ there is a marked 60% increase in the probability of being diagnosed with at least one physical condition.

Meanwhile New Zealand’s AIA reported in October 2021 that 90% of ALL deaths in our country link back to modifiable behaviours.

The FIVE risk factors that lead to the FIVE most common non-communicable diseases are:

(1) Smoking (2) Unhealthy diet (3) Physical inactivity (4) Excessive alcohol (5) Interaction with the environment

As a result of the above, Kiwis are contracting (1) respiratory disease (2) heart disease (3) diabetes (4) cancer (5) and poor mental healthIn summary, the rate that YOU age, and the condition of YOUR health is almost certainly within your own control in life. The suggestion is that, If you love what you do, forget about retirement. Eat healthily, look for the positives in life and exercise daily.

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