11 Aug Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness for the Baby Boomer Generation
Born between the 1940s and the early 1960s, today’s baby boomers have passed midlife and are approaching their senior years. The oldest boomers are approaching their 80s, while the youngest are already in their early 50s.
First, the bad news. Boomers’ health has deeply concerned the medical community for a number of years. Many grew up in a time where sugar flowed like water and cooking with lard was a daily occurrence. The United Health Foundation predicts that as boomers enter the ranks as senior citizens over the next decade or so, they will be sicker than the seniors of today. Specifically, 25% more will be obese, and a whopping 55% more will have diabetes.
Now for some good news. Today’s boomers have better access to information, medical care, products and services than did their predecessors. Today’s boomers can take advantage of nutritional advances, for example, that can help prevent those gruesome predictions from becoming their reality.
And here’s the great news! The steps you need to take to bolster your health are simple, straightforward, and inexpensive. Whether you’re a young adult, a baby boomer, or a senior, the tips you find below can help you get healthy and stay healthy so that you will be the one to defy the odds.
Enhancing cardiovascular health
By enhancing your cardiovascular health, you reduce your risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. In addition, cardiovascular exercise (“cardio”) is a powerful aid to weight loss, as it burns calories. “Cardio” includes exercises such as walking, running, dancing, swimming, and other activities that get your heart pumping and your lungs moving oxygen.
Building lean muscle mass
Building lean muscle mass has a number of advantages for both men and women. Since muscle tissue is more dense than fat, it literally takes up less space in your body. In other words, the more muscle you have (in lieu of fat), the more thin and lithe you will be. In addition, since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, increasing your ratio of muscle to fat means that your metabolism improves. Building muscle mass, in other words, deals a double whammy to obesity.
Though some women object to building muscle, many do so based on a mistaken assumption. For women, lifting weights and completing resistance exercises will not result in a masculine, “bulked up” appearance unless you intentionally go to great pains to make that happen (e.g., take steroids).
For the baby boomer generation, eating properly is more important than ever before. Eating properly means ensuring that you fuel your body with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. That can be a tall order for a generation who grew up on Wonder Bread, butter-soaked “vegetables,” and desserts as far as the eye could see.
For many, getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals, and other essentials is difficult. If you are also limiting calories as part of a weight loss program, it can be even harder. In those situations, strategically adding dietary supplements, particularly those designed with seniors in mind, can work wonders.
Consider supplements that support vision and joint health such as lutein and glucosamine, respectively. Including supplements with antioxidants is also a good idea, as mounting evidence suggests that antioxidants play an important role in preventing cancer. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins A, C, and E (easy to remember as the “ACE” acronym) and others.
Maintaining mental acuity
The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that more than 28 million baby boomers will develop the debilitating, deadly, heart-wrenching condition for which the organization tirelessly fights to find a cure. Until there is a cure, baby boomers need to incorporate as many strategies as possible to prevent it. And they need to do it today.
The Alzheimer’s Association suggests several, science-backed strategies that may help stave off this lethal illness to which so many baby boomers are susceptible. The onset of conditions pointing to poor cardiovascular health (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes) is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s. Tending to your cardiovascular health, therefore, is a must (see above tip).
Other preventive strategies include adopting a Mediterranean style diet (heavy on veggies and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, light on red meats) and incorporating plenty of social and intellectual stimulation. The Alzheimer’s Association also recommends stringent approaches to preventing head injuries (e.g., wearing seat belts, being extra cautious on slippery surfaces like ice, fall-proofing your home), because head trauma leading to loss of consciousness is strongly associated with later development of the fatal illness.
Want to know more about easy, effective, inexpensive ways you can lose weight, enhance your health, and prevent illness? Contact us today, and we’ll help you get started.