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Critical Wellness Message To Baby Boomers

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Between the years 1946 and 1964, millions of children were born inthe U.S. Today this group, known as the baby boomer generation or baby boomers, ranges in age from 30 to 49, and they represent the largest segment of the U.S. population, numbering almost 80 million.

arrowLosing Health Is Not Inevitable

The Surgeon General’s Office has stated, “If you are among the two out of three Americans who do not smoke or drink excessively, your choice of diet can influence your long-term health prospects more than any other action you might take.” Furthermore, if you look at the ten leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, eight are directly linked to diet and alcohol. The message is that getting older does not have to be a sentence to poor health. Baby boomers have an option these days for healthy aging. They are active, informed consumers of health information and products that will enable them to lead full, productive lives well into their senior years. This message is particularly appropriate for baby boomers because it’s simple, easy to put into action and reflects the most current scientific thinking for how individuals can take control of their own health.

arrowFitness is Not a Luxury

It is now well-documented that one of the fastest ways to accelerate the aging process is to lose your physical fitness. In the past we dismissed it as a lost luxury of youth. But we now know fitness is not a luxury. It’s a requirement. The fact is that remaining fit throughout life enables you to maintain your muscle tissue. However, without regular physical ac-tivity, muscle tissue literally wastes away. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Invariably, this decline in fitness and muscle tissue is also accompanied by an increase in body fat and body weight. It’s a downward spiral that can be avoided, but it starts with being fit. A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way

The fact is that the health benefits of being fit are tremendous, and nothing else can take the place of it. The key is to make exercise a regular part of your daily regimen. Exercise does not need to be intense or pro-longed to be effective. Instead, every little bit helps and should be encouraged. It makes good sense to ensure a diet rich in critical nutrients through supplementation.

arrowLook at the Food Pyramid

The optimal diet is well defined, but realized by few. Less than 10% of us eat the recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruits, and 6-11 servings of grains unanimously recommended by public health organizations like the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health & Human Services. If followed, the payoff is a diet associated with dramatically lower incidences of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many forms of cancer.

arrowMaking Healthy Choices

More and more baby boomers are facing up to the reality that what lies ahead are a series of choices that can either help ensure long-term health or rob us of it. A diet based primarily on foods from plants—grains, beans, vegetables and fruits—is one simple choice we can all easily make.

arrowCritical Nutrients

Diets rich in the critical nutrients—calcium, antioxidants (vitamins C, E and beta carotene) and the B vitamins including folic acid—continue to be a major focus of research efforts toward ensuring better public health. While there remains much to be learned about the full role of the critical nutrients in helping to maintain optimal health, given their tremendous potential, it makes good sense to ensure a diet rich in these nutrients through supplementation.

arrowEnsuring a Healthy Future

Of the over 800 billion dollars spent on health care costs annually, a major portion is consumed by diseases and conditions related to diet and inactivity. Baby boomers know this all too well, and they are prepared to take responsibility for their health. Baby Boomers Be Aware As the baby boomers begin to approach 50, they will invariably start to notice some of the outward signs of growing older: loss of muscle tone and flexibility, the beginning of “middle-aged spread” and strength and stamina that’s not what it used to be. Other less visible processes that typically occur between the ages of thirty to fifty also contribute to health problems later on including a number of degenerative diseases. The good news? Many of these age-related changes may be favorably altered, at least to some extent, through diet and lifestyle.

bullet Gradual gain in body fat, decrease in muscle mass A sedentary lifestyle contributes to overweight and a greater risk for many conditions including high blood pressure and adult-onset diabetes. There is also increased risk for breast cancer in overweight women after menopause.

bullet Changes in the prostate gland Benign enlargement of the prostate gland often first appears as a man approaches forty. There is some indication that higher intake of fat, especially fat from meat, is associated with greater risk for the progression of prostate cancer.

bullet Steady decline in total bone mass in both men and women, the balance of bone growth and bone loss begins to slow after the ages of 25 to 35. For women, the resulting gradual decline in skeletal mass continues through menopause when the rate accelerates. Loss of skeletal mass may lead to osteoporosis.

bullet Changes in the eye’s lens and retina. Cumulative changes in the eye’s lens and retina may eventually lead to impaired vision. Diet is one factor, among others, associated with risk for vision problems like cataract and age-related macular degeneration.

bullet Cumulative build-up in the walls lining blood vessels. A diet high in fat and cholesterol, as well as other lifestyle habits, can contribute to the build-up of plaque in vessels. This can lead to hardening of the arteries which can result in a heart attack or stroke.