This past May, Time Magazine released charts that clearly showed the health complications baby boomers are currently facing and will continue to face unless changes are made. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, baby boomers are less healthy and more stressed in comparison to the same age group a decade ago.
It’s important that we take a step back, focusing on the trends that are being released. Our health in many ways, is becoming worse and worse. It was expressed that incidences of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity have all increased since 2002. It is critical that baby boomers focus on these preventable conditions in order to avoid the leading causes of death.
Baby Boomers and High Rates of Chronic Illness
Many experts are concerned about Canada’s aging population. Although there’s no argument that baby boomers will live longer, it’s also believed that a large portion of the population will live years, struggling with a chronic condition. This, of course, raises concerns regarding health care.
Some reports state that baby boomers are healthier and more health conscious overall, in comparison to previous generations, but chronic conditions are currently plaguing millions. Obesity, for instance, is highly prevalent amongst baby boomers. This is creating a wide range of health concerns, especially regarding heart attacks, stroke, and even cancer.
Although the mortality rate among baby boomers has declined in comparison to the same age group ten years ago, chronic conditions are making baby boomers more reliant on the healthcare system, including an increased reliance on prescription medication.
When it comes to the current lifestyles of American baby boomers, it’s been reported that up to 40 percent of this population is considered to be obese and over half do not take part in regular physical activity. Although they appear to be more conscious as to what’s in their food when moderation isn’t practiced, obesity rates rise and so do all the related health conditions.
Making Last Changes to Improve the Future
The choices you make today can drastically affect your future health. It’s unfortunate that many do not pay attention to their health until something goes wrong. In many cases, once various conditions do surface, the damage has already been done.
Although incidences of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are on the rise, many baby boomers are finding it difficult to make lifestyle changes. While focusing on chronic illnesses that plague Canadians today, the majority are lifestyle-related. Following a balanced diet and exercising would mean greater weight management and fewer health complications.
Not only do baby boomers need to be concerned about their health in terms of their physical and mental well-being, but also in terms of finances. According to a survey by the Associated Press, almost 90 percent of baby boomers aren’t sure if they’ll have enough money to feel comfortable and secure through retirement. With access to so many resources and information now is the time to make lasting changes.
Prevention is key and by making small changes to your regular routine, you can significantly impact your future health. Think of eating well and being active as saving for the future. Just as we put away money to protect ourselves in terms of financial security, caring for your health is also a future investment.
Have you been thinking about making changes to your health? Remember, prevention is far more effective than a cure. So, what’s stopping you from making those changes? According to an Australian survey that focused on individuals between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, 60 percent said they don’t enjoy it and 59 percent admitted that it was too hard. Also, almost 1 out of every 2 people said they didn’t know where to start.
Based on these findings, it’s been recommended that you just take that first step. Whatever you think is most critical, start there and the rest will follow. One foot in front of the other, until you reach more and more health-related goals.
Nearly 70 percent said that their first step would be cutting back the amount they ate and incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet. Others wanted to set a daily step target to get them moving and healthy recipes were also a focal point. Once you take that first step, you would be amazed at what you can accomplish.
We have access to so many useful resources and health apps now, that can keep you motivated and on track. The key is daily reminders. If that means putting a sign on your fridge or other reminders, then focus on these motivators. Everyone is different, so focus on what works for you and what your immediate needs are. Diabetes and high blood pressure do not need to be the ‘norm’ in your later years.
You can make lasting changes, you just need to put your mind to it. We need to pay attention to the chronic illnesses that are reducing our quality of life. Set your first goal today! Continually vocalize your goals to yourself, family members, and friends so that it’s real and that you’re offered support. Be your greatest motivator, not your own worst enemy. Remember, the changes you make today will significantly impact your future.
photo credit: Vegetables & Fruits in a Wheel via photopin (license)