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Boomer Health Tips

Updated on October 3, 2014
Healthy eating (Source: Morguefile)
Healthy eating (Source: Morguefile)

Staying Healthy as You Age

Baby boomers are older these days and looking to stay as healthy as possibly. The babies born in 1946-1964 may want to be proactive with their health. So here is a lens that lays out some options to help you stay as healthy as possible as you age.

This Hubpage is brought to you by a boomer of similar concerns. I share what I have learned in my own quest for health over the years.

Boomer Health Tip #1

Boost Your Fiber

As we age, getting enough fiber seems to become more important. We may need some extra help to get and stay regular, clean fats from our bloodstream, and keep our weight in check. Fiber does all of those things. And, unfortunately, many of us don't get enough of it.

White flour products proliferate, making it more difficult to get sufficient quantities of fiber. Buy a burger and the bun is made with white flour. Buy a bagel and it may be too. The truth is, we have to consciously decide we want more whole grains in our diet, then be proactive about it. To get the most whole grain, we may want to bake the bread ourselves.

Even the multi-grain or whole wheat varieties, upon inspection, are likely to have some white flour. Most people like the taste better, and so, the taste buds win. We lose.

We have white rice, regular pastas, doughnuts, rolls, cakes, muffins, and a whole slew of products that probably are made from white flour, or mostly white flour. Bucking the tide is not easy, but it can be done.

Start slowly by switching from white rice to brown rice. It's a no brainer for me. Brown rice tastes good; it has a nutty like flavor. And it's good for blood pressure control. Switch to a whole grain cereal in the morning, too, instead of a commercial cereal with added sugar. Make your own oatmeal, prepare a homemade muesli, or try some barley. Barley is tasty and can be used in soups as well.

You also may want to buy a breadmaker and make your own whole grain breads. You may have to look around for some recipes and adapt others to maximize their fiber content.

If all this sounds like too much trouble, remind yourself the fiber will help you feel full and enable you to eat less. When you eat less, you weigh less and are likely to be healthier.

Health-Related Books from Amazon

Boomer Health Tip #2

Exercise Regularly

Exercise may not be your favorite activity, but it's important. So it's worth a bit of extra effort to find an activity you can enjoy doing. Like right now, I'm actually exercising on my exercise bike. Here I am in my house with my computer propped up within arm's reach. And I am actually exercising. I may not be putting forth the same amount of effort as someone climbing up a hill on their real bike, but I am doing it, at least.

So with exercise, or any health related activity, motivation is important. Sometimes a little give and take is in order, just to get the job done.

I also exercise in other ways. Sometimes I go swimming. Sometimes I may take a walk. I also garden. And then, sometimes I get to clean. Running that vacuum cleaner has got to count for something, right?

The important thing is to make this an important part of your regular routine. It helps keep you slim, maintain a healthy blood pressure, keep that blood flowing.

While you are exercising, try to work up a sweat (if you doctor says you can exercise that strenuously). Sweating may make you messy, sticky and even smelly, but it's a healthy thing to do. You are sweating out toxins your body doesn't want, or need. Unloading them can make you a healthier person by allowing your body to function the way it should.

Boomer Health #3

Watch Your Sugar

Desserts are sweet. But like anything, they can be overdone. Moderation is the key, and when we overindulge we can expect to pay for it with a thicker waistline and maybe high blood pressure and diabetes. There are a lot of factors involved to be sure, but we can help ourselves by being moderate consumers of sugars. There's no point in wearing out our bodies from trying to handle all that sugar in the bloodstream.

I have gone through phases in my life where my body didn't handle sugar as good as usual. In fact, I am in one of those stages right now. And I have learned that a lower glycemic lifestyle has health benefits.

So if you are always looking for dessert, or candy, or cookies, you may consider changing your ways. Opt for fruit, or some celery sticks. Instead of sugary cereals, make your own and top it with agave nectar or maple syrup.

Read your labels. If you don't you'll probably wind up consuming lots more sugar. You also may experience energy slumps you can avoid by eating smaller meals and limiting your sugar intake.

Boomer Health Tip #4

Get Regular Checkups

Visiting the doctor probably isn't top on your list of favorite things to do, but it is a good idea to have a regular checkup. Your doctor will likely want to do some standard checks like blood pressure, cholesterol, maybe bone density and Vitamin D. Your doctor can also do a health screening to detect any propensity for heart disease if this runs in your family.

Even if you don't want to go every year, you should have general practitioner you can call on whenever you need help.

There's no excuse not to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. There are home monitors and test kits which make this a cinch. Home monitoring of your blood pressure is actually a good idea. You are more relaxed and apt to get a good reading. If you blood pressure is below 120 over 80, you are doing great. You may prefer to monitor your blood pressure at checkups, plus at stores with monitors such as pharmacies and groceries.

Relaxation Tip: Drink Green Tea

You've done your best to cut stress and you can't cut it completely. You need to learn to deal with SOME of it.

Exercise is a good. Taking breaks and walking is good. Reading is good. Why not try adding green tea? How about sipping a hot mug of green tea while you read? (Decaffeinated is best.)

I make a pot of decaffeinated green tea and can feel its relaxing effects after a pot, or two. Add fresh ginger and lemon to the pot for added zest and health benefits. I sweeten with stevia.

Boomer Tip #5

Resist Stress

As a boomer you likely are facing increased responsiblities -- at work, at home, even at church.

You may be expected to assume extra responsibilities when the boss is out, fill in when colleagues are sick, or "volunteer" for that extra assignment -- simply because you can. You've been on the job long enough to know your stuff. AND they know it.

At home, you may be caught in the crunch between the demands of your children and your aging parents. You may need to assume caregiving responsibilities, take your parent to the doctor or grocery, and provide emotional support. These duties may conflict with work or assuming your children are still at home, those trips to the soccer games, teen dances, or track meets. There may not seem like there are enough hours in the day.

At church, you may be thrust into the position of an elder, advising younger volunteers how to start a small group. You may be asked to lead the prayer ministry or men's/women's group.

In short, your expertise has been recognized. You're being honored for the wealth of experience you've accumulated. But, as much as you would like to help, you really cannot do it all.

Stress is not good for you. Resist it and keep your blood pressure under control. Get enough rest. Save time to cook healthy meals.

Ultimately, we cannot please everyone. We cannot do all things well. So evaluate the demands upon your time, set your priorities, and do them effectively. Get help where ever you can, teaching others to do instead of doing yourself. Save time to relax in the recliner, soak in the tub or spa, or sweat in the sauna.

You'll be healther for it, and that's good for everyone.

An Uplifting Book for Boomers - from Amazon.com

Fabulous After 50: Finding Fulfillment for Tomorrow
Fabulous After 50: Finding Fulfillment for Tomorrow

This book promotes a positive look about aging.

 

Boomer Tip #6

Stay Positive

Make the most of your life by thinking positive and not limiting yourself. Expect to feel good and be active instead of expecting pain, inactivity and limitations. There may be struggles, but you can minimize them with a positive outlook. Here's a book to help.

Don't Let an Old Person Move Into Your Body by Jim Donovan. $7.99 from Smashwords.com

Learn how to make the rest of your life, the best of your life. International best-selling author and baby boomer, Jim Donovan, says, "Aging is biological. Getting old is a state of mind." If you're ready to challenge the stereotypes about aging and learn to live your life with passion, purpose, power, and prosperity, this book's for you.

Boomer Tip #7

Eat (or Drink) Your Fruits and Veggies

There's a lot of health benefits to eating those fruits and vegetables, but it's too easy to grab a burger or sandwich and keep going. Eating healthy salads help keep you trim and enable you to get your greens.

If you are like me, you might just skip the veggies in favor or a quick sandwich or even plain yogurt and fruit. One way around that is to drink your veggies. A juicer that can take on greens and even wheat grass is a good bet. Its low rpm speed keeps the temperature down and results in a healthier juice.

Making the Most of a Juicer

Making your own fruit juices have some great health benefits -- namely because you are getting the benefits of a lot of extra fruits and vegetable in your diet. You'll likely see the benefits, although you may have to give it a little time.

Chances are you will notice you have increased energy levels -- if not right away maybe three or four weeks later. Although it took me a few weeks to notice the improvement, I notice it a lot more quickly if I get lazy and skip juicing. Sometimes I notice it the same day or two or three days later, but I assure you it definitely is noticeable.

So you can expect to get a wider variety of nutrients, plus more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from your fresh juice -- especially if you drink it immediately after you make it. And it will be easily digestible because the juicer has done the "chewing."

I use a single auger juicer because its low speed ensures the machine doesn't heat up and damage all the great stuff naturally in my fruits and vegetables. I've made a commitment to use it daily because I can see it help keeps me going. I highly recommend it for those who are detoxifying, preventing or battling cancer, etc. Wheatgrass juice is recommended to help you fight cancer.

You may reservations about using a juicer because you hate to waste all that fiber. Well, I understand completely. So did I. But I have realized I don't have to waste it! There are lots of ways I can use at least some of that fiber. And even if I waste some, it is so I can pack in all those other good things that I can drink -- but would be just too much to eat.

Here are some ways you can use that fiber:

* Make a homemade salsa. Use the mincer to prepare a tasty salsa using vine ripened tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, garlic, and fresh herbs if you have any. You'll get some juice to drink too!

* Save your pulp when you make peach or pear nectar. Or when you juice apples, plums and cantaloupes. Use the puree on top of waffles, pancakes or even toast. Drizzle on a little bit of agave nectar or real maple syrup. Or you can freeze it and make a frozen yogurt. Just soften a tad, add plain yogurt and agave nectar or other sweetener as you run it through the mincer. It's quick, easy and ... healthy.

* Use your apple or other fruit pulp to make a fruit butter in your crockpot.

* Use carrot fiber for a homemade carrot cake.

* Make homemade spaghetti sauce with your tomato fiber plus water, garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil and whatever else you'd like!

Cholesterol Checks from Amazon

Boomer Health Tip #8

Eat More Fish, Limit Red Meat

I was always a steak lover. If the truth be told, I am still a steak lover. But you'd probably never know it. I've cut way back on beef -- and opted for heart-healthy fish.

I am picky. I don't go for farmed fish. Or frozen fish sticks. But wild fish is usually low in fat and it's a great protein source.

Turkey is another great, lean source of protein, along with chicken. Although I used to love duck, it's now on my no-no list. At least for regular consumption.

I've found cutting the fat not only helps keep the weight under control, but also the blood pressure. Who can argue with that?

Cheryl Rogers
Cheryl Rogers

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Cheryl Rogers. I'm a freelance writer from Tampa, FL. I write about health for the Central Florida Health News Magazine. As a boomer, I've become more conscious as diet, weight and exercise as I age.

I've written Hubs about high blood pressure, and finicky eating.

A Christian author, I've written a number of titles to share my faith including my Bible Camp Mystery series featuring a former New York gang leader Chet Harrigan. He takes a group of 10- to 16-year-old boys to the Central Florida backwoods to seek God, but nothing ever goes as planned. A 13-year-old goes missing, a hurricane threatens, and half of the boys come done with food poisoning -- that's just in the first book, Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery.

A self publishing assistant, I have written What You Should Know Before You Hire a Book Designer, What You Should Know about Self Publishing and Book Marketing Strategies for the Reluctant Marketer.

Visit my website to learn more my book, or read about the latest Christian books.


© 2014 Cheryl Rogers

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