A three-year study conducted by researchers with the German Center of Gerontology concluded that how you think of aging impacts how well you age.
It confirmed that often repeated proverb that you are only as old as you feel.
The researchers came to this conclusion after studying 5,000 people over the age of 40. This included analyzing their health, how active they were and determining how old they felt compared to how old they actually were.
The researchers discovered that individuals who felt younger than their actual physical age reported having less stress and less declining health than those who didn’t.
The study revealed that those who felt younger had a stronger mental ability, were not hospitalized as often and lived longer than those who didn’t.
They concluded that feeling younger than your actual age actually defended a person against the physical and mental decline often attributed to aging. The researchers suggested that more work should be done to counter the negative stereotypes often associated with growing old, because how we think impacts how well we live.
I still remember the story about Caleb, who along with Joshua, was allowed to enter the Promised Land the second time after the nation pulled back because of their unbelief 45 years earlier.
Caleb was now 85 years old and went up to Joshua and asked that he be given that mountain that had been promised his family the first time Israel tried to enter the Promised Land.
But I was struck by a statement that Caleb made as he claimed that mountain:
11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. (Joshua 14:11 NKJV)
Caleb felt 45 years younger than his actual physical age.
I’m sure Caleb’s sons probably smiled as they watch their dad make that statement, because the years would have taken their toll.
But Caleb felt younger and at 85 years of age, he was still climbing mountains and still claiming his inheritance.