Sure, we all have seen and read about how health conscious the Baby Boomer Generation is these days. However, if you take a closer look, you may be quite surprised by health statistics for this demographic.
Medical research studies have revealed that the Baby Boomer Generation is not nearly as physically fit and healthy as their reputation would have us believe, when compared to the previous generation. The good news is that abundant health opportunities await those willing and able to make lifestyle changes for better health.
According to a study of 54 year old Baby Boomer participants published on February 4th, 2013 by the Journal of American Medicine, also known as JAMA, “Boomers were less likely to report excellent health and to suffer from obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other maladies… ” than their counterparts in the previous generation. That is, many suffer more from conditions and illnesses related to poor lifestyle choices such as low-quality dietary intake, over consumption, being overweight, and even sedentary.
This study revealed that though many Baby Boomers today are doing a good job helping their respiratory and cardiac systems by not smoking, and have subsequently less reported emphysema, and fewer heart attacks, preventable lifestyle diseases have taken a major foothold in this massive generation.
Statistically, they are much more apt to require a cane or walker to assist them in walking than their parents at the same age of 54 years old. There is 25 percent more obesity in this generation than their predecessors, and many suffer from hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, all considered “lifestyle conditions.” To complicate matters, moderate alcohol consumption has risen from 37 percent in their predecessors at the same age, to 67 percent in the Baby Boomer Generation.
Good News for Baby Boomers
The resounding answer to this statistical health storm is found in a single phrase: Lifestyle Adjustment. Lifestyle adjustment, or changing one’s lifestyle, in many cases, is all that is needed to fight common diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and yes, even diabetes. With your doctor’s help, simple self-help changes such as eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and subsequently, antioxidants, low in fat, low in salt, in combination with an active lifestyle, and limiting alcohol consumption may be exactly what is needed to help yourself to ‘get healthy.’ Also, monitoring and learning new ways to deal with the stress in your life through activities and exercise are yet other healthy alternatives in striving to enhance your health through self-help.
Together, with their doctors, and through self-help initiatives, Baby Boomers all across the country are finding that making needed changes in lifestyle is allowing them to not only live longer, but to live happier, healthier lives allowing them new freedom and energy for their grandchildren and friends. They are finding that volunteering, walking with a friend, joining the local senior center or church, shopping smarter and eating better are all simple things they can do to add to the quality of their lives through the promotion of overall better health and wellness.