According to a new report by JAMA Internal Medicine, Baby Boomers are living longer but less healthy lives than the previous generation. As one of the authors put it, “Despite their longer life expectancy… U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability, and lower self-rated health than members of the previous generation at the same age.”
The study wasn’t all bad news. Baby Boomers are less likely to have heart attacks, get emphysema, or smoke. (Though in all fairness to the previous generation, until the 1950s most people didn’t know smoking was bad for you). However, Boomers are more likely to not exercise, have high blood pressure, get diabetes, or be obese.
But perhaps the most important news is that all of these health concerns can be managed through healthier living. Vanderbilt University chair Dr. William Schaffner urged people to eat better and exercise more, saying exercise doesn’t have to be “training for the Olympics... There are lots of easy things people can do-- walking, swimming, gardening. Physical activity of any kind.”
Besides, if you’re going to live longer why not enjoy those extra years as much as possible? Whether or not you require a mobility aid, there are still plenty of low impact exercises you can do to stay physically fit. Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t easy, but it is doable and at the end of the day you’ll probably have more fun.