Baby Boomers: Exercising Just Got Easier for You! – Part 1
With the increase in Boomeritis, what doctors are now using to define what those of us have who end up in the emergency room with exercise related injuries, it’s important to consider how do we get the exercise we need while minimizing the risks of injury. This article, Part One of a Two Part series, reaffirms that yes, we Boomers are determined to stay in the game by exercising, and presents some statistics about the likelihood of getting injured while doing so and takes us to the first step in success, setting a couple of simple goals.
Baby Boomers: Exercising Just Got Easier for You! – Part 1 – By Rita Beck
Even if you are an extreme couch potato, born and raised by Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, even you have already heard about all the health benefits a person can gain from exercising and staying fit. So it’s pretty safe to assume that all Baby Boomers hear it, see it and read every day about how exercising can help prevent a multitude of ailments, diseases, conditions, afflictions, disabilities, infirmities, disorders and syndromes associated with aging, or just plain breathing. There are also a few little-known benefits from exercising that many of us have never heard, seen or read about. These include how working out makes us happier, improves our vision and dental health, increases our productivity at work, helps us to sleep more soundly, boosts our mental clarity, memory and concentration, and my personal favorite — improves our vocabulary. Who knew that exercising could be so… propitious! That’s a fancy word for “good” that I just learned. See, even writing about exercising has improved my vocabulary. How cool is that?
And speaking of “cool,” Baby Boomers have always been cool, and now true to form, we’re making it cool to grow old! We became a generational phenomenon that made us all cool simply for being a part of the 78 million babies born after WWII between 1946-1964. And now, a half century later, the fact that health club memberships for Baby Boomers have increased 380% in recent years is one of the signs that Boomers would rather stay cool than appear to be growing old. It appears that many of us are taking heed to what we’ve been hearing, seeing and reading about when it comes to the benefits of exercising, or the disastrous consequences of not exercising and/or allowing our butts to become one with our sofas. Even the Boomers who have been slim and trim all their lives and never gave a hoot about fitness and exercising are starting to get with the game plan. Gone are their days of being able to eat whatever their skinny little butts wanted without gaining an ounce. The last time many of them stood naked in front of a mirror, even they could see their not-so-skinny-anymore butts without having to turn around. Unfortunately, the only thing many Boomers have now that’s slim, is a slim chance of ever being skinny again.
Even so, everywhere you go these days, you’ll see Boomers being far more active than their parents and grandparents ever were. Tons of Boomers actually feel that they’re in better physical condition now than they were in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and a bunch of them even feel they’re in better shape now than their 20, 30 and 40-year-old children. Because so many of us are feeling our oats, we have no intention of slowing down and we continue to exercise with the same intensity and gusto as we did in our youth.
Beware of Boomeritis!
Countless Baby Boomers are working so hard in their pursuit of having better health, better quality of life and longer productive lives that the chances are good they will succeed in their quest. Said pursuit, however, comes with risks — risks that increase significantly as our bodies continue to age. Said risks increase substantially more as many of us continue to deny the fact that our bodies have passed their prime — it’s all a part of Generation Boomer’s unwavering determination to not get old. In other words, regardless of what we’re determined to accomplish or acknowledge, it ain’t cool to keep over exerting our over-the-hill bodies.
According to the CDC, over 2 and a half million Baby Boomers end up in the emergency room every year with injuries due to over exercising. Ouch! The doctors have started calling it “Boomeritis” — a variety of musculoskeletal ailments and injuries that occur usually in active individuals around the age of 40, 50 or 60. Sports and exercise related injuries have become the most frequent reason — behind the common cold — that Baby Boomers visit doctors these days. In the past century, medical science and technology may have extended our life span, but because evolution moves at a much slower pace, we have not yet extended the warranty on our aging bodies. Make no bones about it, my Boomer buddies, our bones are beginning to get brittle and our muscle mass could soon be a thing of the past.
Take it Easy!
What’s a Boomer to do? Answer: Chill out and take it easy! The “move it or lose it” and “just do it” attitudes are still perfectly good policies to live by — they just need to be toned down a bit so that we don’t over do it. Studies show that low to moderate-intensity activities provide all the health benefits Baby Boomers need. You don’t have to train for the Olympics to optimize your health. Even if you don’t normally work out and you want to start an exercise program, it’s still a great idea to get a move on. The only thing worse than too much exercise is too little, and experts say it’s never too late to start benefiting from working out no matter how old we are or what physical condition we’re in. Even a 90-year-old can start a workout regime and receive far more health benefits than he would if he just sat around wondering how many new liver spots he’ll have by the end of the day. Gramps just needs to remember that he has to engage in an age appropriate exercise routine that takes into consideration how frail and brittle his bones have become.
Just like the elderly — and let’s face it, Baby Boomers are in training to become elderly — we must remember to engage in age appropriate exercising. Even if we’re striving to be the best at being elderly so that our bones don’t become as frail and brittle as a typical 90-year-old, they will certainly start to feel that way very soon if we continue to engage in the joint-jarring activities like aerobics, running and kickboxing that our generation helped to make so popular. Don’t let a trip to the ER be what forces you to realize you need to make the switch to gentler, lower-impact, easier-on-the-bones workouts.
A Goal Properly Set is Halfway Reached
If you happen to be a Boomer who has been working out for many years and you’re still working toward a goal of acquiring those 6-pack abs or still working toward fitting into that size 6 dress, chances are you haven’t been consistently engaged in all the rigorous and vigorous working out that’s required to reach those goals. Some of us engage in an on-again, off-again exercise regime, or just on occasion — on the occasion of a class reunion coming up, on the occasion of a New Year’s resolution. Either way, you too are at risk and more prone now to soreness, stiffness and injuries. And just so you know, the experts are finding that at our age, it takes a lot more time and effort just to maintain our current physical condition, with little hope of losing much junk from our trunk or ever gaining the rock-hard abs of our dreams. Don’t give up hope though because remember, we are Generation Boomer! We are rarely bound by rules of man or nature, and if we find that we are, we change the rules! We’ve already changed the rules about working harder — we work smarter. The smart thing to do about exercising is to set fitness goals that are actually attainable.
Especially for Boomers who are just starting out or are returning from decades of an exercise regime that is on-3-weeks, off-3-years — start by setting a simple goal of just showing up! Seventy percent of success in life is showing up, so show up at the health club, show up in front of your treadmill, show up anyplace other than on your sofa or at a Dairy Queen and you’re off to a good start. First goal accomplished!
Next, set a goal to work out at least 20-30 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week. This is a little harder to accomplish than just showing up, but a whole lot easier than setting a goal to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, bench press twice your weight, or to lose 5 inches off your flabby arms by Tuesday. Be careful setting deadlines as well. Setting reasonable deadlines is sensible, but if your motivation is based on a determination to see instant results, that’s a surefire goal buster. Remember, exercising is a journey, not a destination and nothing good is going to happen immediately with the snap of your finger. At our age, you’re move liable to snap, crackle and pop — snap something in your neck, crackle something in your knee and pop something out of where it’s supposed to be! That’s why it’s so very important to warm up and stretch cold muscles before each workout so you’ll be less prone to injuries. In fact, if you’re just starting out or returning to a routine, the very first thing you probably need to do for a while before each work out is to spend some time stretching and warming up before you start… stretching and warming up.
Don’t miss Part 2 next week when Rita discusses alternatives to old workout paradigms, how changing the rules make it easier, and reminders of the many rewards of maintaining a regular workout regime to enhance longevity, fight age related diseases and ailments, and feel and look our best as we age.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Rita Beck just recently launched her encore career as a writer specializing in Baby Boomer trends — cool, unusual and inspiring trends in particular. Her website, The Boomer Bunch (http://www.theboomerbunch.com ), takes a light-hearted look at how many Baby Boomers are making it cool to grow old! Rita’s articles are always flavored with humor and wit, and her primary goal is not just to inform, but to uplift her readers and entertain them as well. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6736595