As a baby boomer, how often have you wondered what the very best exercise is for you to do on a regular basis? The question is important because most of us don’t want to exercise – just for the sake of exercise – any more than reasonably necessary. This means selecting exercises that are effective and time efficient. So what is the best baby boomer exercise?
If you are a baby boomer like me, you are realistically in the last third of your life. The good news is that you are still young enough to make changes. Why make changes? To increase the probability that your final years will be good ones. I’m talking about some of the basics of a happy life: staying mobile and avoiding dementia. Lots of folks worry about running out of money when they hit that last decade. I’m more concerned about staying functional. What good is money if all of it is being spent on nursing home care?
Prior to the last year or two, I had no knowledge of the health benefits of vitamin D or the negative consequences of not getting enough of it. More important, I never paid attention to my own vitamin D levels. That all changed yesterday when my new primary care physician emailed me about my lab results.
I found a new primary care physician this week after an extended period of procrastination. I scheduled a visit for my first wellness exam in four years. As far as I know now (pending completion of lab work), I am healthy. Nevertheless, at age 63, I thought it was important to find someone new to be a resource for my overall healthcare as I move deeper into my last third of life. There were several reasons why I made this change now.
The struggle to maintain weight affects many of us. This struggle is particularly important to baby boomers who potentially face a mountain of healthcare problems and their associated costs in retirement. The U.S. has the most expensive healthcare system in the world (but sadly not the best care) and the tide has still not turned.
I’ll bet there are tens of millions of baby boomers who take medication – e.g., statins – to control serum cholesterol levels. For several years I was one of them. Now I wonder if statins are the wrong solution for the wrong problem.
One of the benefits of publicly writing about baby boomers and retirement is that I receive press releases and emails about new books, products and services that may of interest to those who read here. I read all of them and in a few cases, I request additional information about something that appeals to me. That was the case recently when I received a press release about BAREFOOTERS®, a radically different shoe. The manufacturer was kind enough to send me a sample pair. I have worn them now for almost two months. I really like them. You might also. I will tell you why.
A short piece in the New York Times prompted me to follow-up with a brief “mental health” story about me. First, let me propose to you that almost everyone of us – boomers and elders included – could benefit from an occasional mental health check-up and tune-up.
When I weighed myself this morning, I was within the range of typical fluctuation around my high school weight of 165 pounds. This was the goal I established on January 2. I have lost 26 pounds in three months. I have also met another goal: I can now fit comfortably in pants having a 32″ waist, the size I wore all through high school, early adulthood, and again 18 months ago before I started all of my stress eating. (Again, not bragging here but trying to motivate others.) However, I am not stopping my weight loss plan just yet.
One key item on my personal transformation agenda over the past 14 months has been mindfulness meditation. I developed my personal meditation practice somewhat by accident. In February 2012 I met a psychotherapist who also happened to be a serious Zen practitioner. That encounter caused to me to begin reading about Zen Buddhism which, as you may know, places meditation at the center of its practice.