Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Be a Healthy and Active Boomer

Dancers Vernon and Irene Castle. Gelatin silve...
Dancers Vernon and Irene Castle (Wikipedia)
by Sylvia Behnish

When we look around we can see that many boomers are leading healthy and active lives.

They are growing older with a vitality that our parents didn't possess.

Boomers have redefined aging and retirement.

They were the ones who redefined young adulthood and they're doing it again as seniors.

Although some may find it is necessary to accommodate their needs, they're not going to sit back and rock on the porch with their feet up.

Most take their well-being seriously and because of this they usually take care of their health by walking, playing golf, swimming, bicycling and although they may be taking ballroom dancing lessons instead of attending music extravaganzas such as Woodstock, they are active participants in life.

Most also still have a sense of adventure and although they may continue to be risk takers, they keep caution in mind more seriously than their younger counterparts.

Boomers who were incredibly independent in their youth continue to be self-sufficient. Now they may garden, do canning or become involved in crafts. Or they may take yoga, do water exercises or join a walking group.

But staying fit and being mentally active is high on the list for most boomers. They are also the ones who encourage the continuance of family traditions.

The majority of boomers are comfortable with a computer at least as far as having an e-mail address. And many have a cell phone.

But there are also many who do search the net, are active on Facebook and other social media sites and own other technology based paraphernalia such as an iPod.

And since many boomers are single, there are those who have tried online dating. Socially their time is spent with close friends and family.

Statistically this generation is living longer than their parents or grandparents. Some of the ways to stay healthy are:

- Do not smoke.
- Keep active by maintaining your strength, flexibility and cardiovascular abilities.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Control your weight by eating properly and exercising.
- Get regular screenings. Women should have regular mammograms and pap tests, and men should be checked for prostate cancer. Other screenings can include such things as a periodic colonoscopy, regular blood pressure checks and blood tests to check cholesterol levels.
- Protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen.
- Have regular dental and hearing check-ups.
- Stay interested by continually learning something new - continue to challenge yourself.
- Get a pet (even if it's only fish). They won't exactly give you unconditional love but they are interesting and much easier to leave when you travel (and there are no kennel fees).
- Travel as often as you are able.
- Get out amongst people and enjoy what life has to offer.
- Join a book club, a walking group or an environmentalist group - whatever interests you.

There's a song by Todd Hunter which says, 'Life is good, life is great, life is asking you to participate'. That is the best we can do to ensure that, as boomers, we remain healthy and active. Get out there and live; don't vegetate.

Sylvia Behnish has had numerous articles published in newspapers and magazines in both Canada and the United States on subjects relating to boomers, seniors, grandparenting, parenting and families. She has also published 'A Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)', 'His Sins', a fiction novel and 'Life's Challenges', a short story collection.

For more information on boomers, retirement, seniors, grandparenting and parenting, go to

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