A healthy diet and exercise are essential parts of living healthy at any stage in life this especially true for baby boomers. As we age, however, it becomes more and more important to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to keep all aspects of our body healthy.
What is the best diet for baby boomers, though?
This topic is up for debate and Jeanine Mincher, Ph.D. Dietetic Technician at Youngstown State University says that while there is no one universal diet for everyone there are general guidelines that those in the baby boomer category should follow.
Mincher noted that in the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services recently released their dietary guidelines for Americans, which they release every five years. The guidelines’ recommendation is “when you look at your plate, half of it should be fruits and vegetables,” said Mincher.
“I think it’s important to have the half a plate concept of fruits and vegetables no matter who you are or what your age is, but it’s even more critical for the baby boomer,” added Mincher.
Mincher also recommended that while embracing this concept it is also important to stay away from starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. They can be included but in moderation.
Healthyaging.net suggests that another beneficial diet for baby boomers to follow is the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on a mix of vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, whole grains and olive oil.
According to Healthyaging.net, the Mediterranean diet is not only beneficial for physical health but also mental health, as it has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercise is very important in maintaining health, especially for baby boomers. A healthy diet alone is not enough to keep from adding inches to the waistline as we age, and like the Mediterranean Diet, exercise is shown to not only keep one looking sharp but thinking sharp as well.
But how is one to exercise while aging and often losing strength, which is the case for most baby boomers?
The answer to that is simple: the exercise does not have to be a muscle grinding endurance testing blowout. In fact, walking is all the exercise that the baby boomer needs to keep a healthy figure and mind.
According to babyboomer-magazine.com, as little as two-and-a-half hours of walking per week can significantly improve memory and reduce memory loss. The online magazine also noted a study from the Centers for Disease Control that 30 minutes of exercise a day, even if done 10 minutes at a time, often provides the same health benefits of more strenuous exercises.
Another important aspect of baby boomers‘ nutrition is the multivitamin. As the body ages, digestion gains efficiency, we need fewer calories and many tend to eat less, causing those in the baby boomer category to not get all the vitamins and minerals that the body requires.
“I do usually take vitamins, usually, typically multivitamins every day. . . and I do feel like they help a lot like if I take them for a period of time and stop taking them I do notice a difference,” said Sal Sanders, associate professor in the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services at Youngstown State University and also a baby boomer.
However, vitamins can be misused as well. According to Mincher, this happens when people try to replace foods with vitamins. “Vitamins can never replace food because there are a lot more substances in foods . . . there are plant chemicals we call phytochemicals and other things that make us healthy that aren’t replicated in vitamins,” said Mincher.
So baby boomers; make sure to eat those fruits and vegetables, exercise and throw a multivitamin in the mix and you can expect to keep both physically and mentally fit.