DEAR CA & AC —
My SO (Significant Other) recently told I was beginning to look old. When pressed he couldn’t name a single thing he took issue with. I’m slim; my honey blond hair doesn’t show much gray, and my skin is pretty good. I could lose a pound or two, but who couldn’t? I am terribly nearsighted, but that affects the way I see, not how I look. What else could it be?
SIGNED, TOO YOUNG TO BE OLD
DEAR TYTBO —
How easy it is to miss the obvious! Do you never look at yourself with the eyes of a stranger?
Consider this. My sister was joining friends for lunch and preceded them into the restaurant. She glimpsed them as they approached. Her immediate thought, even before she recognized them, was, Old Ladies! The reason? They were stooped over. There was a bit of the old age shuffle in their gait.
Check out your posture. I’m guessing that you, like my sister’s lunch buddies, look pretty good standing still in front of a mirror. But how do you look when you aren’t thinking about it? What you need—what we all need—is someone to look at our alignment when we are standing and walking au naturel, not in the buff, but going about our business, unconscious of ourselves.
In your case, a Trusted Friend (TF) might be better suited to this task than your SO, who has proven himself better at gratuitous insults than useful observation. Here are some of the slumping signs for your TF to look for: any hint of a “dowager hump” (a curve in the back), a “vulture neck” (excessive forward-thrust of chin), inward sloping shoulders, outward thrusting derriere, “expecting” abs (protruding stomach that could be mistaken for pregnancy).
Many of these unsightly misalignment are the result of muscle weakness or years of bad habits, both of which are correctible. Stiffening joints, shuffling movements, and shrinking height can be symptoms of an age-related disease, which may require medical help. Most of us can combat many of these so-called harbingers of advancing age with a dose of honesty and a new exercise routine.
Please let us know if poor posture isn’t the secret to your premature aging and if standing erect doesn’t set your S.O. straight.
COMING SOON: Posture Exercises to Look (and Feel) Younger