05/23/2013 05:44 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2013

Aging Begins at the Beginning

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Working around seniors my entire adult life, I have often wondered, When do people become "Senior?" Is there a magic day or age? Yes, I know about the 40th birthday when your life is half done, and getting your AARP Card at 50, and yes, social security eligibility at 62.

But when does it really start? I decided to do a very in-depth study of one to answer this question. That focus of study is me.

I asked myself about changes in my body's condition. Well, there was the one time my tailor asked why my left shoulder hung lower then my right. My Patton machismo answer, "10 years of playing football on the offensive line." The reality is probably 25 years of carrying a 40 lb. garment bag on that shoulder while running for planes.

Then there was the change in daily habits. You know what I mean. I used to have M&Ms on my desk, but my doctor suggested I switch those out for Metamucil capsules. One day I got confused and bit into a tablet. I don't recommend that unless you like mopping the floor of a sawmill with your tongue.

Then there was the change in weight. I weigh 22 lbs. more then I did 20 years ago. I eat better food, eat less of it and exercise more, so it makes no sense to me. Is this a benefit of aging? Is my body storing up for some great unexpected famine in the future?

My conclusion after this very in-depth scientific experiment is that aging starts when you are born. Ideas about exercise, eating right and good health rituals are drummed into our head at a young age.

I see this as two different family groups in our family. One family is incredibly strict about what kids eat, when they take their naps and that they play outside. They allow very little TV and they move constantly. The other family allows McDonalds excursions, iPad time and video games whenever the child wants it. They get very little outdoor time, and they go to bed when the adults go to bed.

We can help the aging process, but don't get fooled into thinking that it starts at 62, it really starts at 2. Help your child age well.

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