Baby Boomer Health Concerns
As baby boomers, we’re living much longer than our parents and grandparents did, but we certainly aren’t healthier. Over 100 years ago, life expectancy for baby boomers in the United States was 48 years. Today, the average is 78.
Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, according to Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General, Susan Blumenthal. Yet people born between 1946 and 1964, the population known as baby boomers, have more heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol than those who came before us.
Why? Baby boomers typically have a poor diet, full of fatty, sugary foods and…we don’t exercise much.
Good News For Healthy Baby Boomers
There is good news for baby boomers who want to stay healthy. By making healthy changes in our diet and by increasing our exercise, we can improve our quality of life. This can translate into money saved on medical treatment for obesity, heart disease and arthritis among all the other benefits. Exercise for baby boomers need not mean showing up at NFL Spring Training camp or getting ready for the next Olympics. Walking, dancing, swimming and even gardening are all great ways to increase the level of our exercise without hurting ourselves. Just ‘get physical’ as the song says!
Along with exercise, making healthier choices in our diet also goes a long way to helping us stay healthy longer. Enjoying more vegetables and fruit, along with switching to low-fat foods, low or no sugar and low or no salt choices are among the best changes we can make in our diets.
Let’s explore more ideas for healthy living for baby boomers.
Energy Boosters For Baby Boomers
Fatigue and low energy are common problems as we age. We can do quite a bit to boost our energy by making some pleasant changes to our diet and to our level of activity. Try some or all of these energy boosters:
* Always eat breakfast
Our first meal of the day is the most important one for getting the required fuel to keep you going all day. Never skip breakfast! At the very least, grab a banana or apple and drink a glass of milk or juice, if you’re in a hurry.
* Eat smaller meals and more often
Studies have proven that by eating smaller, healthier meals more frequently throughout the day actually gives you more energy as opposed to 2-3 bigger meals which often make you feel tired and sleepy! Try to eat a healthy snack every four hours to maintain your energy levels. Eating this way also helps maintain healthier blood sugar levels.
Walk or jog, swim or cycle at least fifteen minutes every day. Any kind of physical activity will boost your energy levels. Try walking 10,000 steps a day! Plan ahead and establish a schedule for exercising. You’ll notice a huge difference in energy!
* Feed your cells!
If you feel run down and extremely fatigued often or just sometimes, this may be a sure sign that your body is not receiving enough nutrients. When our body does not enough nutrition from our diet, we become exhausted much faster.
* High energy foods
Consider adding high energy foods to your diet such as low-fat cheese, milk, yogurt, beans, eggs, fish, poultry, and lean meat.
Common Health Issues for Baby Boomers
The most common health issues for baby boomers are obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. Note that all of these problems are connected to low or no exercise and poor diet. A recent study found that chronic disease is more prevalent with baby boomers than it was in the previous generation.
Easy And Smart Food Choices For Baby Boomers
With so many food choices out there, sometimes it’s just easier to grab a hamburger–something baby boomers grew up loving! Add our busy schedules to the mix and thinking about what we eat goes right out the window.
Here are some tips for making smart food choices for baby boomers:
- The brightest colored fruits and vegetables are the best for you. Dark greens, brilliant reds and bright yellows – these fruits and vegetables have the best nutrients and anti-oxidants.
- Eat fish at least twice a week. Salmon is great for you! Grilled salmon is out of this world!
- Eat less saturated fats (as in animal fat) and trans fats (as in bakery items and margarine). Replace them with healthier fats–in moderation, like olive oil, canola oil, and certain margarines, as well as meat cuts with less fat.
- Eat more whole grains rather than processed white flour foods.
- Cut back on sugary drinks and drink more water.
- Reduce your salt intake.