Anti-Aging Blog Fitness Longevity

What It Means to Be a ‘Back Niner’

The Back Nine of Life

Back when you were in high school, you probably thought being called a “senior” was rather cool. But as you’ve graduated up in years, being called a “senior” may not have the cachet it once did – except when you hit 55 and were awarded your well-deserved senior discount at McDonald’s. Otherwise, I think the “senior” label, and worse yet, calling someone a “senior citizen”, is cringeworthy. 😬

People are living younger longer, and “seniors” are still associated with being frail and dependent (“Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”) – although, you have to admit that there’s a good reason that this association exists.

Call an athletic 65-year-old a “senior”, and you may evoke a deep sigh and eye roll. 🙄

So I have come up with a new name. For those who play golf, you’re very familiar with the “Back Nine”. For those who aren’t so familiar with the term, the Back Nine refers to the final nine holes on an eighteen-hole course and can be a bit tougher, but often times, it’s because they just run out of energy.

In Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100, I refer to the “Back Nine of Life“, which is basically the years from age 50 and beyond. So from here on, those of you who’ve crossed over into the latter half (actually, the better half) of life, I’m referring to you as a Back Niner™.

How to Be a Better Back Niner

Inspiring Back Niners strive to live longer and improve the quality of those years by:

  • Staying positive (having a positive attitude about getting older and better health)
  • Staying connected (interacting socially with family and friends)
  • Staying involved (participating in life, e.g., volunteering, tutoring, helping a neighbor, and being involved in cultural, social, economic, or civic affairs)
  • Staying healthy at all ages and stages (following a longevity lifestyle)
  • Staying curious (promoting brain health by being intellectually engaged)
  • Staying calm (managing stress and anxiety)

So Back Niners, be proud, stand tall, and embrace your life experience. Your best years are ahead!


Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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