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Is 60 Really the New 40?

Updated on June 14, 2013

Boomers Are Right, Its All in Your Mind!

Deepak Chopra says that THE most important way to stay young is to change your perceptions about your age. Is he right?

In Ageless Body: Timeless Mind, he tells of a study done on people of the WWII generation. People in their 70's were given full physicals.

Then they spent a week in a resort with just each other. The environment was totally controlled. The radios were set up to play Big Band music and the news and dramatic programming was from the 40's. They were told to talk about things that happened when they were young.

After immersing themselves in the times when they were young, as if they were young, thinking young, they were given second physicals. Blood pressure was lower and other vital statistics had all improved!

Yes, the mind matters.

It seems that believing that 60 is the new 40 actually makes it true.

A 50th Anniversary in 1962

My Grandparents, Orval and Alberta Byrd

Grandma and Grandpa were 71 and 72 on their 50th anniversary. They looked much older by today's standards. But they fit right in with the times.

In their lifetime, there were rules for how people dressed and acted depending on what decade of their life they were living. Even in that more uptight era, women stopped wearing bras at a certain age. Bras weren't for old ladies.

People expected to age and were told just how to do it. Most of them complied.

A 50th anniversary in 1985

My parents, Fritz and Marjorie Arrowsmith.

Mom and Dad were 68 on their anniversary. A mere 3 to 4 years difference. Not much when you are in your late 60's-70's. And remember, my mom comes from their gene pool.

At first glance my parents look much more youthful. Look closer, what is the difference really? Not really significantly fewer wrinkles (mom and grandma both had beautiful skin to the end). Grandpa and Dad both have on nice suits Grandma's dress is more dowdy. But that is just a symptom, not why her essence is older.

Mom and Dad were also products of their times. They never had a gym membership and ate bologna sandwiches with butter almost every day. They also went along with the expected standards, and they were almost as rigid as for Mom's parents.

The times were a little more forgiving, but more importantly, I think, is that all their friends were at least 10 years younger than they were. At 91, Dad still won't go to a Senior Center because he doesn't like to hang around with 'old people'. I remind him that most of the people at the center would be a good 10 to 20 years younger than he is, but no, he is not interested. His current best friend is 45 to his 91.

Am I saying that the key is to only be with younger people? Of course not. In the first place that would be impossible for everyone to do, but age integrated social circles are possible. The key is to perceive that you are younger than you are.

It helps to be around people who have the same philosophy and mind set. Chopra was right!

BTW, even Chopra writes about eating well and exercise, they are still important, but that mental attitude is the name of the game.

Look at those pictures again. Both couples are proud and happy with a light in their eyes. But it is a different kind of light. One is active, while the other isn't. I remember Mom at 75 challenging herself to climb all the way to the top of the Lincoln Monument, something that Grandma would never have thought of doing, even at a much younger age. Mom knew it would be a challenge, but perceived that she could. Grandma probably perceived that she couldn't in her 30's, and she would not have been able to.

Perception is the difference between a light in the eye and an active, young light in the eye.

Dr. Oz on Reversing Aging

Dr. Oz appears regularly on Oprah and has written several books about "you" the body and how to keep it healthy and young.

Those Kids Are Always With Us: We Learn to Hide Them or Let Them Dance

Those Kids Are Always With Us:  We Learn to Hide Them or Let Them Dance
Those Kids Are Always With Us: We Learn to Hide Them or Let Them Dance

What is Your Real Age? - Go to the Site, Take the Test

Most of you are probably younger than your chronological age, some of you are older. The key to staying young is to know where you stand so that you can change habits and attitudes in order to be younger than your age.

Electropollution Does Age Your Body - Protect Yourself

Part of attitude is making sure that your protect your body, and knowing it works.

Aging is in the Mind

Both Dr Oz and Deepok Chopra believe that aging is reversible.

Is 60 The New 40? - Or 50 The New 30?

Can Perception and Care Taking Really Keep You Young?

Water, Water EveryWhere...But Do You Drink It? - George Carlin was funny, but was he right?

Heard a report on Paul Harvey yesterday. A nursing home tried an experiment with water. They started a 'Water Club' where competition was set up to see who could drink the most water, aiming for 8 to 9 glasses a day.

Soon people became more active and vitals improved. Wish I had more, but I will do some Google to find it. In the mean time...

How Much Water Do You Drink?

See results

Well, 40 Is Certainly the New 20!

Dora Torres wins Olympic medals at age 41.

In 1949 when Fred Astaire turned 40 his doctors told him to stop dancing because it wouldn't be good for his heart!

People's bodies haven't changed, but society's perceptions of what they can and should do certainly have. Astaire led the way by, thankfully, ignoring his doctors. Torres is continuing to pioneer for changing the perceptions of aging!

Deepak Chopra's Classic

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative is the classic, but all of these books have important information about slowing or even reversing your aging process.

"This Is What 40 Looks Like"

Gloria Steinem Breaks Ground on the Aging Front.

Gloria Steinem is about 14 years older than I am. She is a beautiful woman who has lead a life of activism.

Since her field was feminism reporters were fascinated with her beauty. They seemed to think that was a contradiction. Now there is an untrue perception.

She often heard them remark, "You look so young for 40"

She is famous for the response, "This is what 40 looks like". And of course, she was right. If she was 40 and looked like that, then 40 looks, or can look like that.

Today we are used to seeing 40 year olds who look like she did 30 years ago. The perception now is that people can age well, and more and more are doing it. See how it works!

Did every 40 year old look like her? No. Does every 60+ year old look like Suzanne Somers or Harrison Ford? No. But we all know people that age who look very good. Thus that is what that age looks like. It also looks older than that and younger than that.

The point is that the reporters 30 years ago had a picture of what a particular age should look like, just like in my parents and grandparents age. They were so convinced that they questioned anyone who didn't match their perceptions.

Your age is what you perceive it to be.

From Gloria Steinem - She Stayed Young When You Weren't Supposed To

Gloria Steinem not only challenged perceptions about gender roles, but also those about agism.

33 Is the New 16?

Olympic Gymnastics is a sport where 20 has been considered aging. Shawn Johnson may be on the 2012 American team because she will be 20.

There has been a lot of speculation about the Chinese team cheating by having gymnasts who are younger than the required 16. This is an advantage.

Enter Oksana Chusovitina a 33 year old Russian woman who earned a silver medal in vaulting for the German team.

This woman apparently did not listen to those who said she was too old. She and her coach ignored the perception that she was too old because she was twice as old as she should have been to be an Olympic gymnast.

Cloris Leachman: Still Going Strong.

Its hard to believe that Cloris Leachman was near 50 when she stole the show in High Anxiety is and Young Frankenstein, and 40 something in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but she was.

She is clearly an example of someone who believes that age is a matter of mind set. At age 80, the Academy Award winner won her eighth prime time Emmy and has been traveling the country in a one woman show, "Cloris!".

Thank you, Cloris, for showing us all what 80 can be like!

News: Cloris has made it past the first two cuts and the grueling first week of two dancers. Frankly, she isn't that good of a dancer, but physically? She is doing something that many 30 year olds can't do! She is dancing!

Any Purchase Here Will Contribute to Heifer International: The Pay It Forward Entrepreneurial Charity

Desperation Is Not a Positive Attitude

Don't Confuse Desperation with Perception

"Sexy, not desperate", is a quote from Suzanne Somers. She sells clothing to be worn by women of all ages. It is alluring, not silly.

A 65 year old woman in a pair of properly fitting jeans and a fitted t-shirt is very sexy and attractive.

A 50 year old woman in Daisy Dukes and a mid drift top is, well, sad and desperate.

Having young adult friends who share your interests can keep your mind young.

Hanging around with your teenager's friends, using all the lingo won't.

Pretending to be a kid is not a different perception, it is agreeing with the notion that youth is chronological. Struggling and flailing against the perception won't make you young. Standing it on its head by being comfortable and happy with yourself is challenging the old rules.

Trying to be a kid, trying to look like what we aren't is not changing perceptions. Being yourself in spite of arbitrary societal rules, is.

Suzanne Somers' Philosophy

I don't believe that everyone needs hormone replacement as Suzanne Somers suggests. However, I do agree with her that if you are going to use them they should be bio-identical, not the one size fits all.

Her Somersize programs is easy, effective, healthy and you get to eat a whole lot of food, including brownies! Believe that her flourless brownie mix can top most you have eaten!

More Deepak Chopra

Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging is an excellent guide

Dr Oz's Guide to "YOU"

A more physical approach, and the man knows of what he speaks. These books are excellent additions to his information on aging.

Staying Young

And lots of pampering doesn't hurt at all!

Would love to hear from you. If you have any any tips let us know.

Come Share Your Perceptions With Us All

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      nice post i like it very super

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Terrific! My daughter is a personal trainer, and she keeps on me about exercise. Health is so important, and health is related to our emotional state too. I try to read and write positively!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens, but I have always said you are only as old as you let your self be.

      If your seventy then think a little bit less. main thing is to enjoy each day when you wake up and be thankful you are still alive.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens! Well done

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm positive. That counts for a lot! I don't want to let age hold me back, so I won't! Love your lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You are the perception that you have of yourself. This applies in may ways. People do what they think they can do. They allow what they think they deserve. And so on.

    • Richardryder profile image

      Risteard O'Marcahain 

      7 years ago from Wales

      I'm hoping that 65 is the new 35

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the great lens.

    • kathysart profile image


      7 years ago

      Well I can't say it is not hard to see yourself getting older.. it is! But I am dealing with

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Now Shell just turned 60 last month! Returning to bless this inspiration to us all!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That sounds reasonable dahling. Perhaps even a decade younger - 60s is the new 30s?

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      It's not so long ago that 40 was old age and anyone living past it was rather unique. Now 100 is quite possible for many and in that regards we are pushing the barriers and living much healthier lives and longer. Great lens and thought provoking

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Entertaining and true! Squid-liked it! Kudos!

    • SaintFrantic profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the great lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow. This is a wonderful lens. It's great to read something that doesn't bash old age, but just to keep a young state of mind to age gracefully. I for one am tired of hearing from my friends that are in their mid-20's complaining of how "old" they are getting.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      If a person has their health then they can feel young forever. The good news is that even if one is not healthy, a healthy attitude really keeps you feel young too, smiling works wonder.

    • sousababy profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh and googled +1'd this gem too. Take good care, Rose

    • sousababy profile image


      8 years ago

      The other night I saw Stephen Colbert interviewing Gloria Steinem and I felt she was radiant, brilliant and humorous. We really need to embrace our inner beauty and forget about all the superficial 'quick fixes.' Confidence is extremely attractive (in women and men). Feeling beautiful in your own skin is the best and we are all unique wonders in this world.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think hanging out with a mix of age groups helps too. My partner is also few years younger than me and she keeps on my toes, I feel like I've had a 'sedentary-ectomy' the number of jobs around the house she gets me doing!!

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image


      8 years ago from Rhode Island

      wonderful lens I think with all the new meds and technology 60 is the new 40

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Even 20 years ago I perceived 60 as much older and now, as I creep closer to it, it doesn't seem that old at all. Medicine sure has changed, I can't imagine a doctor telling anyone now that dancing is bad for their heart! Well done Margo!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      The two photos you featured of your parents and grandparents really are very telling of the way ideas about aging are changing. Personally, I wish I could dance like Tina Turner :)

    • Krafick profile image


      8 years ago

      Well said. Lensrolled to Brain Fitness in Old Age.

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 

      8 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      What an excellent lens! I get so angry at my parents and even my husband when they blame their aches and pains as well as their health problems on 'getting old' and just succumb to the problems without even trying to fix them. Age is entirely in your mind - surrounding myself with my 4 kids is helping me to keep young ;)

    • Ellen Mitchell profile image

      Ellen Mitchell 

      8 years ago

      Believing in something tends to cause us to take action to make it happen. If we believe we are young and vibrant, we take care of our bodies so that we feel young and vibrant. If we believe we can enjoy life and be involved in fun activities into our later years, we will continue be productive and to seek fun activities and enjoy life in our later years.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      8 years ago from Western Mass

      what you put in your body and how you treat it certainly determines how you function.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      8 years ago from Western Mass

      what you put in your body and how you treat it certainly determines how you function.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I need a week in that resort, ha! I'm nearing 60, er 40! Great fun, positive, and informative lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I agree with awakeningwellness,if you think of yourself as old,you will be. I'm 60 and I have been through alot in the last 6 years,but I refuse to "think I'm old"

    • awakeningwellness profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes age is a matter of perception, if you perceive yourself to be old you will be.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      I see pictures of my grandparents at my age and they look to me to be 100 years old or more. My 80-year-old mother is still busy and active and looking just fine despite COPD. She won't let it hold her back and she doesn't feel "old" except if she has problems breathing. She does volunteer work, counsels younger folks on how to register for Social Security and Medicare, and even prepares taxes for "the old folks" at the Senior Center. I hope I'm as active as Mum in another 20 years - I think I will be!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      8 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      A wonderful lens on a topic that is of interest to me and I'm sure lots of other baby boomers as well. I certainly don't feel or act as "old" as my parents or grandparents were at my age.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm just over 40 and I'm "semi-retired". Does that mean I've got it the wrong way round? I'm 40(ish) and I think I'm 60... Although I've just become a dad, so maybe 40 is the new 21. I agree though: being old is partly a state of mind (if you are lucky enough to be healthy) and we have far more freedom than people did a few decades ago to do what we want. Also, now I am "semi-retired" I am working harder than ever and intend to do so for a very long time.

    • VladimirCat profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      The secret to staying young is thinking young. I do

    • admiralglass lm profile image

      admiralglass lm 

      9 years ago

      I read an article where they said that in 30-40 years from now it´s normal to live 100+. I agree that people in their 50 look more younger than our grandparents. Great lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      People are definitely staying younger longer these days. My parents are in their 70s now and, though semi-retired, are both still working and look much younger than their years. The U.S. is not doing well on this front as a nation though. At 78.2 years, America ranks 38th in the world in terms of average lifespan. Japan is number 1, at 82.6 years. No big surprise there, but I was surprised that Australia, which has a similar history and food culture to the U.S. is ranked 5th at 81.2 years. Average lifespan is one of the best indicators of the overall health of a country's citizens, so I think this is a statistic that Americans should take very seriously.

      By the way, I really like this lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I drink virtually no water at all....if it will make me feel and look younger I better get on that.

    • SewWithSarah profile image


      10 years ago

      We have 3 year old quadruplet grandbabies and their 4 year old big brother that we keep 2 days a week - sometimes 3 days a week, so their parents can actually get some work done! Running after these little ones help keep us young!! PS I'm 62 and my husband is 70.

    • ruanz3 lm profile image

      ruanz3 lm 

      10 years ago

      Awesome lens, i did one on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. Its still a work in progress but id appreciate it if you checked it out.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I think that if you act young and feel young, you will stay younger. Sit around and think about getting older - and you will without doubt! 5***** for a very nice lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm 53 but I'm not ready to slow down. I don't look at retirement as an oportunity to slow down but a chance to do some of the things I haven't had time to do. I've written and published one book, I want to write another dozen.

      Great lens.


    • papawu profile image


      10 years ago

      I have been told that I was born old, so I don't really know how old I actually am!lol

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Good for you. I once read that when Fred Astaire turned FORTY his doctors told him to stop dancing as it would be bad for his heart!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens! Another super lesson about the importance of attitude! We believe what we tell ourselves, and our bodies act on that! I plan to still be dancing at 80!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Well, aging is in my mind -- I always thought I'd feel old as dirt by my age! It's my body that's falling apart -- slap tear, meniscus tear, mortons neuroma, percutaneous discectomy, achilles tendor tear and a partridge in a pear tree ... seriously! You can look and feel good, but what about your ligaments?

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      11 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I agree that a lot of aging is in the mind. I'll admit that my mind has had a tough time dealing with aging, but I'm working on it. Blessings from a SquidAngel today!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      11 years ago from Royalton

      Feeling young seems to be a matter of relaxing and loving yourself enough to be yourself.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      11 years ago from USA

      I believe most of aging is in your mind. (But then i am one of those self indulgent baby boomers) :)

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 

      11 years ago

      Good, thoughtful lens. It's all about your self-perception.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      11 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Yes, your age is all about what you think of the world and yourself. All those new creams and serums are a big help too! Wait! I think Squidoo helps as well.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for the comprehensive lens. I'm afraid the age test will say I'm 80. The family pictures are great.


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