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BOOMER HEALTH INDEX

When No News is Good Boomer Health News.

Keep the light lit, boomer.

Keep the light lit, boomer.

Just when you’ve turned the corner and feeling better, clothes fit better, face looks more like you remember looking, something happens.

You forget to move. You decide not to get up. You don’t feel making an effort is worth the reward.

You’re tired. Now what? You could let things ride.

You’re getting older and want things easier. Another TV remote, garage door remote. A remote to start your car.

The clapper you used to make fun of sounds pretty good now. Lights on or off? Just clap.

The lift chair for people who have trouble standing up? You want one in the near future.

Is this the road toward an easier day? Or the road to ruin?AARP, one of the most trusted names in reliable information for seniors and boomers helps with Jump Start Your Fitness.

They might be a little off on this one. Don’t get the cables out and hook one end to a battery and the other end to you. Don’t. It’s not the same jump starting your ’64 Mustang.

Another thing about jump starting boomer health, or anything else, is the jump part.

There’s nothing sadder than seeing a gym trainer putting an older person through a jump workout. It’s not the workout, it’s the person agreeing to it and trying to jump.

Experienced gym trolls like your baby boomer blogger right here count the number of times older folks show up for their jump start. There’s the first one then the huge drop off.

Either injury or good sense keeps them away.

Jumping rope? I wouldn’t. Here’s why: The millennial on the floor jumping rope so fast it sounds like a helicopter blade hasn’t had much time off from their routine.

Have you?

What happens when you take the rope in hand and start jumping for a warm-up activity? It’ll be your foot, your ankle, knee or hip that’ll take you out. Maybe a shoulder.

Five minutes of jump rope and you’re done for another year. As a bonus you have welts from the jump rope whip on missed jumps.

AARP was right about clothing. Buy a new set of workout clothes and you’ll look like you’re been active even when you’re not. Yoga pants get a no-go; spandex leggings are a must have. Of the two I ask, “What’s the difference?”

Older men and women taking the AARP advice and join a spinning class wear something in between. Bike pants. They’re sort of cut off yoga pants with a giant kotex-like pad in the crotch to ease the seat pain.

Finishing spin class in a good sweat leaves some of the participants with droopy drawers and baboon butt. Walking around in their toes up bike shoes competes the look. If new gear is supposed to help keep you on a workout schedule, don’t look in the mirror you pass.

Positive memories of past exercise is a good motivator, according to AARP and a University of New Hampshire study. So is the woman in the video with the sort of triceps I’m working toward.

Note to baby boomer health men:

Skip the yoga pants and spandex and monkey butt shorts. Pursue well shaped arms. Don’t worry if the well shaped arms of your dreams are hanging on a woman.

It’s not about gender, it’s about health. When health fails, most people panic and rush to their doctor, the emergency room, or decide it’s ‘their time.’

Hospitals and doctors jump in to save the day with surgery or drugs, most likely both. How many times have your heard, “The surgery was a success, but the patient died of complications?” Infection, drug side effects and the like, take out many people and help others decide to never to accept similar treatment.

Call them the ‘it’s my time’ people. Is this you? If not, it probably will be. Some people let their health slide beyond normal help. Visit any nursing home ward and you’ll see them getting through the day in bed.

Chronic illness in later life is a given…for those looking after those patients. The day is full of doctor’s orders, nursing procedure, and caregiver clean-up. No rah rah cheering, motivational harangue, meds on time, or meals of specific nutrition and consistency. Institutions do try to get the meds and meals right, but shifts change, new people get trained.

Who falls between the cracks?

The patient. Which is why the family caregiver is the king of old age.

Who hasn’t dreamed of making their old man or their momma get up and move they way they made you get up and move when you felt like staying home from school, or not mowing the yard, or just felt like saying screw it I’m watching football all damn day.

No one on earth has more reference to a parent than their kids. They made you who you are, now you get to make them better than they were.

When the medical establishment quits on someone, sends them home to die, or warehouses them, it’s time for the family caregiver to step up. I wrote a piece for Today’s Caregiver on what that’s all about. Check it out.

If your older family member is on a prescribed medication schedule and doing okay with it, go along. Just kick in an exercise regime to go along with it, too.

This is where boomer health grows more important. If you’re a family caregiver, you can’t call in sick. Someone’s life depends on your health and you need all the help you can get.

While no test available measures the effect of positive action one person gives another, no test can prove the results of homeopathic medicine either. If you know the effect you’re having on an infirm family member, you don’t need a test. What if you’re feeling down and don’t know why and decide to try a homeopathic remedy?

If it works, do you need a test to explain why? You are the test.

Good boomer health is good for everybody.

Looking for a magic pill to replace the side effects of sloth and laziness isn’t good for anybody, but it’s out there.

Say you’re overweight, diabetic, and tired all the time. All. The. Time.

What you need is more testosterone, according to some ads you see. It plays into the victim attitude. “I’m fat and tired and it’s not my fault.”

You could buy a pair of bike shorts and join a gym, or buy a jar of testosterone pills. Google testosterone pills to see what’s available. Look at the images related to the search.

In no time you’ll be ripped and ready for the bikini clad ladies in the images. Look, there’s a gray bearded man with the body of a twenty five year old. That could be you.

Here’s the secret: it’s not you. Before you jump start your new life with testosterone and human growth hormones, try eating less and moving more.

Not so tired? Feel like sweating it out with the gym rats? You go, boy. Ramp up your workout and testosterone ramps up, too. It takes a lot of energy to carry an extra hundred pounds. Or fifty. Or twenty. An extra five pounds won’t send you into a nose dive, but you never know.

Boomer health is the result of an active life. How active? That’s the question.

What’s your answer?

Light it up.

SAM_0090

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About David Gillaspie
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