Most boomers take reasonably good care of their cars. I don’t base this on any facts, just personal observations. We put gas in the tank, we get the oil changed, replace fluids and wipers, and in general do the things that we need to do to keep our vehicles running for the long haul. Unfortunately, many boomers take better care of their automobiles than they do of their own bodies. Sad but true, and at one time or another, I think many of us have been guilty of this. We over-indulge in the bad stuff, and under-indulge in the good stuff. And still, we want our bodies to perform optimally, also for the long haul.
But, at some point, I have noticed, we as boomers begin to feel finite. We recognize our own mortality and for some, this is the beginning of a much-needed and sometimes long overdue journey to better health and fitness. For those of us who “get this,” this issue of My Generation is all about tuning up our bodies and keeping them going in the best way to help us through the remaining miles of our journey.
First there is fuel. Everything that we put into our body in the way of food and beverages, supplements, medications, etc., is used in some way. The key is finding the right fuel for our individual needs and desires. There are many diet fads, for sure. There are also diet trends, and we have highlighted a few of these on page 2. Whether you choose vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or any other regimen, understanding what you eat and how it affects your own body, is the first step in taking care of your machine.
After we feed ourselves, we know that we have to exercise our muscles and our minds in order to keep them going. Whether you take up running like a group of guys in Freeport (page 6), or join a local Y or other fitness center (page 8), go skiing, do yoga, or simply take a long walk every day, exercise is critically important to every functioning part of your body. For me, I choose walking and yoga, and my doctor tells me she would be very happy if I also added a little weightlifting. My mantra is, just keep moving.
My grandmother lived to be 89 years old, but for the last 25-30 years of her life, she sat in a rocking chair in her room. She had arthritis, and it hurt to move. I have learned that I potentially have the beginnings of arthritis in my left hip. When I get up from being sedentary (think couch potato, or a good night’s sleep), my hip hurts. Once I start moving or walking briskly, my hip feels great – no pain, no stiffness, no discomfort. I wish I knew then what I know now about moving.
If you are hesitant, scared, shy, or just uncomfortable about taking the first step in improving your physical health, please read Kathy Eliscu’s wonderful column in this issue on page 9. You can learn to love your boomer body – and take good care of it.
Lee Hews, Publisher