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Aging Gracefully - Beginning in your Youth

By Edited Apr 27, 2016 2 6

Our population demographics show that people are living longer each year. Geronotology is the study of aging. As the baby boomers reach Social Security Eligibility more and more, many of them stay working instead of retiring. Sometimes it has to do with their financial needs, but often it has to do with the lifestyle they want to continue to lead – useful, vibrant and busy. The thought of a nursing home isn't for them.

More and more people will live thirty or more years after they retire. Imagine that and these people won't be in nursing homes but busy and active people, IF they take care of themselves, from their younger years.

Without a doubt the longer they work the less they will depend on retirement income that either they have put aside through as either 401K plans or pensions, and from Social Security. But how they lived their lives will have a lot to do with the way they will be able to enjoy living the last 30 or more years of their life.

Diabetes and obesity are steadily increasing problems in our society. Eating better along with exercising must be incorporated into our lives as youngsters. Those habits need to be retained during early adulthood. The health problems that obesity and diabetes impact include heart disease and others. Regularly exercising improves circulation and muscle mass. As we get older, muscle mass decreases naturally, but staying active will slow down the process. Many people face medical complications because they are overweight. It is very difficult to lose weight after you have been diagnosed with a disease. Keeping your weight under control is the solution.

Sesame Street was wonderful for our children, but it is not a substitute for outside activity. The computer age has made children more comfortable in front of a computer game, or now texting, than willing to run and play outside. Families that need to rely on both parents working and had less time to spend with children at the park or engaged in outdoor afterschool activities, encouraged more sedentary habits being developed by their children. Day care and afterschool programs can do only so much. It takes constant encouragement to stay active and healthy. It is too easy to sit on the sofa. Too many 'couch potatoes' have already been raised.

Our eating habits have changed over the past 50 years from mostly home cooked meals to fast food and eating out. Our high fat and sugar diets combined with a decrease in exercise and activity have increased problems of osteoporosis and diabetes 2 in younger people.

Our country may want to control health care costs, but we must control our lifestyle to minimize our own healthcare problems, that negatively impact the healthcare dilemma. It isn't someone else's problem. It is ours.

Eat healthy and enjoy being active; then continue to eat healthy and remain active throughout life, seems to be key to enjoying the 30+ years most of us will spend in our Golden Years. In 2011, the very first wave of Baby Boomers will turn 65. For many of them, they will be starting out on a journey that will last thirty or more years. Hopefully they will be healthy enough to enjoy them. Will you be?



Dec 11, 2009 1:14pm
Too late for me to start young. Hope that I can stay fit and well though :)
Dec 11, 2009 1:18pm
Never too late to start......
Dec 11, 2009 7:13pm
It's all up to us to take care of ourselves the best we can and you're right it's never too late to start. A lot of it can be reversed.
Dec 14, 2009 1:05pm
People have started to get themselves into better physical condition after retirement many times, and even took on challenges like running a marathon after retirement, that they never considered doing before in their life. It is never too late to start.
Dec 19, 2009 10:28pm
Yes we all need to be responsible for our own health. eating sleeping the works. Too many people abuse their bodies. A fat person does not necessarily mean that they eat too much, although??? they could probably help themselves a bit more.
Obese does cause more problems in itself. I feel so blessed to have reached my age and so sorry for the kids ruining theirs.
Dec 19, 2009 10:35pm
The statistics of how obesity will affect the rising costs of health insurance is astounding.
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