Top Health Issues for Baby Boomers

For Baby Boomers each New Year is something to celebrate. Depending on what end of the generational spectrum you’re on, you may be one year closer to retirement, or another year removed from the hustle and bustle of working life. You’ve got another year with your life partner ahead, and your kids and grandkids have grown up just a little bit more. It’s always a great time to review the blessings life has bestowed, while also committing to some lifestyle changes. No matter how successful, happy and healthy you are, there’s always room for improvement. And let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger! Now is the time to make your health a priority, even if you never have before. So consider taking on any of these top five New Year’s health resolutions for baby boomers, and you’ll be shocked at who you’ve become when another New Year rolls around.

The first resolution on this list is important regardless of the age bracket, but is probably more important for baby boomers than anyone else. And that’s making sure you pay attention to preventative health measures. You should be seeing the doctor twice a year, but there are also some specialists you must pepper in there as you get older. It’s never fun, but a bit of discomfort due to some awkward office visits could actually save your life some day. Major diseases have been cured simply because the sufferer uncovered them early enough to make a difference. So do yourself a kindness and see the doctor as often as necessary this year.

If you’ve made it to this point in life and you’re still smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes you may think you’re charmed. But the fact remains every day you are at risk for serious health problems. Those gory commercials you see on TV paint the whole picture, so we don’t need to go into detail here. But you know there’s simply no good reason to keep smoking. Make 2013 the year you resolve to give up nicotine and actually do it. It’s never too late, no matter how old you are. And every day you go without smoking from now on is a healthier and happier day ahead.

As we age the food choices we make become more and more important. Perhaps you don’t want to live a life that doesn’t include your favorite cheeseburger joint, and you don’t have to. But resolve to make healthier food choices overall in 2013. Heart disease impacts men and women, and what we eat has as much to do with the issue as our genetic disposition. Lean heavily on vegetables and unprocessed foods, and keep sweets and red meat to a bare minimum. Treat yourself from time to time, but a year spent with healthier eating habits will help you stick around long enough to enjoy your retirement.

Food alone won’t do the trick if you don’t pair it with regular exercise. And it’s never too late to get started. There are plenty of studies about the benefits of regular exercise on aging. If you get at least thirty minutes of mild to moderate exercise each day, you greatly reduce your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. But best of all you’ll remain mentally sharp and physically balanced for long years ahead. You’ve worked hard and gathered a ton of amazing memories during the course of your lifetime. So keep them with you by exercising.

Finally, resolve to stay healthy mentally, both in the use of your mind and in your attitude. Physical exercise is one thing, but the mind is a muscle that needs to be worked out as well. So consider turning off the television in favor of a quality book some nights. Pick up that crossword puzzle again, or download apps filled with brain teasers. Make a point of seeing friends and family for some lively conversation. Learn new things, challenge yourself, and create a life that surprises people, not one that is predictable and boring. It’s up to you to keep things interesting.

Experiences that push you outside of your comfort zone and time with loved ones will boost your health and wellbeing for many years to come.

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Jenni Proctor

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