One of the claims that is often made about baby boomers is that we are “the healthiest generation of all time.” But, is this really true? We are certainly destined to live longer than any generation before us. At the same time, a study from the University of Toronto is shedding doubt on the idea that we are actually healthier than other generations.
The study, entitled “Benefits Gained, Benefits Lost,” claims that any health benefits that we might have received from increased education, lower smoking rates and higher levels of income have been cancelled out by our increasing BMI (body mass index).
In other words, we’re sabotaging our own efforts to stay healthy after 60 because we can’t control our waistlines.
I find this study tragic on so many levels. For starters, what’s the point of having 20-30 years more to live if you can’t do so in good health? Second, of all of the factors impacting your health, your weight is perhaps the one over which you have the most control.
As someone in her 60s, I understand just how difficult it is to lose weight as you get a little older. But, it’s not impossible. If, like me, you need a structured approach, join a gym or try gentle yoga. If you spend a lot of time sitting, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and stretch every hour. Use the 1-minute technique to trick yourself into getting in shape. If you’re an animal person, consider getting a dog. Do whatever it takes to get moving!
There are so many ways to take control of your health after 60. So, let’s refuse to be statistics. Let’s get out there and show the world that we really can be the healthiest generation of all time!
What health-related goals do you have this year? Does it surprise you that we may not be the “healthiest generation” after all? What advice would you give to a friend your age who wants to lose a bit of weight? Please join the discussion.