Baby Boomers: Getting Older, But Are We Getting Better?

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According to the Mayo Clinic, “Healthy aging is a hot topic for baby boomers everywhere. Whether you’re concerned about weight gain, sex drive or chronic diseases, the key to healthy aging is a healthy lifestyle.”  However a West Virginia University Medical School study reports that even with all this attention and concern on healthy aging, baby boomers are not all that healthy.

The report’s findings were cited by the Journal of the American Medical Association cited on News.Health.com stating “that medical advances have led to the longest life expectancy ever, but U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability and lower self-rated health than did their parents at a comparable age.”

What could be making this difference between us, the baby boomers, and our parents?  Dare I say it?  Could it be our lifestyles which, for most of our working lives have probably been spent in an office or cubicle, then in a car commuting home with perhaps a quick run through a fast food drive though, only to spend the rest of the evening (what’s left of it) in front of the television before going to bed for less than the optimum number of hours only to start the cycle over again tomorrow?

This compared to our parents who may have worked a manual labor job after they walked to work and walked home from work and ate fresh food grown in their garden.  Who after dinner with their family read the newspaper or played games or puzzles and went to bed at a decent hour and got at least eight hours of sleep.

Perhaps that is why they were healthier at our age than we are.  The fortunate thing for us, is that it’s never too late to start.  We can still eat healthier foods, more fresh foods, more veggies and fruits.  We can exercise more often, at least thirty minutes per day, more if we can work it in.  We can do some form of cardio to get our heart rates up to the point where it is a little hard to talk while we’re walking, but not uncomfortable.  We can lift some light weights and build some bone density to fight off osteoporosis.  We can do some stretches or yoga to increase flexibility and work on balance so we decrease our chances of falling.  These are all fairly easy life changes and can be done in small, bite-size pieces.

When possible, I highly recommend doing your exercising outside because it’s just prettier and there’s more to see!  Take your dog for a walk, they’ll appreciate it and you will, too.  Cats, not so much, but dogs are always up for a walk.  Go with friends, that way there’s someone to urge you on and to whom you’re committed to show up.  That one always works on me 🙂

Even if you start with a small step, a small step is better than no step at all, so get started!  Exercise!!  It’s good for what ails you!

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