One of the most difficult things for the Baby Boomer to change is that of his lifestyle. That’s why we’ve left it until now. You knew it was coming. You have to give up drinking, smoking and all of those other things that are ripping apart your health and well being. We don’t have to tell you those things, but if you don’t do them, nothing you’ve learned here is going to prolong your life any more than they will shorten it.
But, lifestyle changes don’t have to be for the bad. There are actually many small things that you can do to improve the overall quality and health of your life without having to give up the things you love.
On the other hand, there are those things that you do have to take into consideration and repair. You do have to set your priorities straight and you do have to make sure that your health becomes the most important thing in the world to you. That’s no short order.
And, we’ll start with the hardest yet most important one of all.
Baby Boomers are known for the stress that they are under on a constant basis. Challenge is something that many of you live for. In fact, more than 40 percent of the Baby Boomer generation will continue to work not for the money but for the mental stimulation and challenge that it provides to them.
Nevertheless, stress can be detrimental to your overall well being. In fact, it will shorten your life span if you don’t do something about it right now.
Why does stress play such an important role in your life? There are a number of reasons why, but when it comes to what stress does to your body physically, the evidence is in.
Stress is known as the silent killer because it affects virtually every part of your body. Not only does it cause trauma to your brain, but it will cause muscles and joints to become injured, organs to not work as well and allows your body to remain open to illness.
In addition, it helps you to age faster. Because stress increases the amount of cortisol that your body produces, you age faster. Cortisol is an element that actually increases the speed at which you age. The longer and more severe the stress is, the more damage it does to you.
The good news is that most of the damage that comes from stress can be repaired and even elevated. But, this does mean that you need to make some lifestyle changes now to make that happen for you.
For starters, stressful situations like work environments that are negative or cause you to remain in a state of stress are not good for you and should be changed. Although you may not believe that you can do this, the stress you face there will shorten your lifespan and worsen your health in the short and long term.
Here are some ways that you can reduce stress even when you can’t leave the job behind.
· Physical activity will help to reduce stress. Going for a walk, playing a sport, and even the exercise that you get in your Baby Boomer exercise regimen will all help you. By pumping oxygen rich blood throughout your stressed muscles, you improve the overall function of them and therefore help your body to relax.
· Mental relaxation can also help. Learn how to do yoga (remember it’s great for stretching too!) or you can learn to meditate. You can also find other quiet activities that can help to relax you.
· Take on a new learning experience. Learn how to do karate, meet new people and expand your knowledge base through reading. Finding these things to do will encourage your brain to work more successfully and it will encourage stress relief.
· Do things that you enjoy. Getting a massage will help to melt away stress. Go for a walk or go swimming. Spend time with family and friends just playing a game. These small things make a considerable difference in stress reduction.
But, stress isn’t all that you need to take into consideration when it comes to lifestyle changes.
As mentioned, those habits that are bad for you, such as smoking, drinking alcohol and illegal substances should not be done. The sooner that you stop doing so, the better it can be. The good news is that some of the damage from smoking will repair itself on its own. But, alcohol damage won’t be so lucky.
Even if you need a cigarette to relax, the bottom line is that smoking and drinking will lead to cancers of the lungs, brain cell deterioration and much more. The circulatory system alone suffers greatly at these risks.
There are many helpful groups available today, that your doctor can help you to find that can help you to make these changes so that they aren’t too hard to do or too taxing on your daily life.
Be happy. In short, improving your mood and giving yourself more opportunities to be positive can also help to increase your longevity and help you to remain healthy, longer. Although doctors don’t fully understand why, many patients that that face life threatening conditions that have a positive attitude going in are the ones that actually pull through. Even in the worst of situations, having this full of life, positive mental attitude can pull you through when even medicine can fail.
To stay positive, you should do things that you enjoy. Since most Baby Boomers are still working, that means cutting back those hours a bit and enjoying a picnic in the park, relaxing after dinner and just enjoying the peace of the afternoon. Catch a nap, call and talk to a friend for an hour about nothing and even spend the day laughing and carrying on.
Doing things that you enjoy doing is beneficial to your overall health. As we mentioned earlier, it helps to stimulate the brain. But, it also helps to improve your quality of life. Let’s face it, nothing that you learned here can be beneficial to you if your quality of life is minimized in any way.
Getting through the difficult times is hard to do and still stay positive. Some find the hope and help they need in religion, while others seek out answers in science. Even still, many just look at the benefits and blessings they have now and hope they continue for a long time in coming.
Doing whatever it takes to improve your lifestyle will ultimately lead you to a lifestyle that is positive and overall beneficial to your goal of a long, prosperous lifestyle.