When you work out, you’re doing more than improving your physical and mental health.
You’re also fighting dangerous prejudice.
The World Health Organization is raising awareness globally about the “widespread and insidious practice” of ageism, including the harm it does to the health of people over 60 – and the value of fitness and a positive outlook.
“Ageism has been shown to cause cardiovascular stress, lowered levels of self-efficacy and decreased productivity,” WHO wrote in a massive campaign to combat the stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination around the world.
WHO says that by 2050, the world will have 2 billion people over 60. That’s more than double the number in 2015.
People over 60 are often derided as being frail, non-productive, and a burden on society.
But people who think positively about ageing enjoy a longer life -- 7.5 years, WHO says.
The campaign highlights the role fitness plays: “Strength training to maintain muscle mass and good nutrition can both help to preserve cognitive function, delay care dependency, and reverse frailty.”
You should want to be fit and healthy for your own benefit, and that of your loved ones. But now it’s also a great way to fight harmful prejudice.
Be strong enough to break the stereotypes.