Tag Archives: Baby Boomers

Is It Time to Get Back Off the Bus?

In high school at Stillwater (MN) I ran cross country in addition to running track and skiing cross country. Fall of my senior year, I was selected as captain on the varsity cross country team. Things started out slow and our team was just not competing at the level we knew what we should.

Get Off the Bus

So one day after doing particularly poorly in a meet at the Battle Creek Regional Park across the highway from 3M headquarters, I decided to get off the bus about 5 miles from the high school and run the rest of the way. Partly I just didn’t feel worthy of sitting on the bus, partly I didn’t want to be around anyone right then and maybe subconsciously I was looking to shake things up. Either way, I got off the bus and ran the rest of the way home. The next time I did it a few people got off and ran with me and by later in the season most of the team was running with me as well.

This turned out to be a great team building exercise and in retrospect was partly responsible for creating some very strong friendships that are still active today some 40 years later. It also may be a great model for what I and many other Baby Boomers need to do right now.

Going After My Best Self

With news every day about how older people and people with chronic diseases and challenges such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes, heart disease etc. are more likely to suffer more or die from COVID-19, it has inspired me to get back to focusing on health, fitness and nutrition. I knew that all of these challenges were bad but I just kept putting off addressing my fitness again and again.

While I don’t suffer from all of these things, I am well on my way so how do I start. 1) stop eating crap, defined as heavily processed foods roughly defined as foods with added sugar and process grain. This actually leaves a lot to still be enjoyed from butter and coconut oil and avocados, to any organic, locally-sourced meat to fish and olive oil. It also leaves out a lot as well but all of it is pretty much poison. Forget about whether you want to be Paleo or Vegan, Vegetarian or Keto. Just eat less crap. More on this later. And, 2) Exercise or movement. Start exercising and define this as pretty much any movement more than you were doing before. This could be walking, walking every day, jogging, lifting weights. It really doesn’t matter just start doing more tomorrow than you were doing today.

If you would like to get more information about our community here at BoomerangFit, please CLICK HERE and give us your email address. We won’t sell this info to anyone and will just send you info we think will help you improve your fitness. 2020 is going to be your year.

Coronavirus Deaths

Three Things That Could Save Your Life

In this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic and the daily updates on positive tests and fatalities, one thing is very obvious: baby boomers who are by definition nearing 60 or older are significantly more likely to die than younger people (see chart). One of the main reasons for this seems to be the prevalence of pre-existing conditions in this older age group. “In the first big analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China, deaths were at least five times more common among confirmed cases with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems” stated the BBC in a recent article.

So, what’s a baby boomer to do? Accept fate and try to stay as far away as possible from the virus, other people and society. Certainly if you are in a high risk group you should be doing just this. Additionally however, there are other things that we Boomers can do to reduce the impact or likelihood of these mostly chronic diseases that are aiding and abetting this deadly virus.

Chronic Diseases and Nutrition

Many people increasingly believe that chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, some heart and lung diseases, some cancers and the broader umbrella of metabolic syndrome that also includes insulin resistance and general obesity are in large part caused by our diet, lack of movement and increasingly toxic environment. Therefore if you believe this, then one way to improve your likelihood of survival in this new world of pandemics is to improve your health.

Stop Eating Crap

The two easiest ways to do this is: 1) Stop Eating Crap – remove as much processed food and added sugar from your diet as you can and replace it with healthy natural foods. Don’t try to cut calories or restrict the amount of food yet just eat less crap. Then later you can start to worry about how much you eat and other details like do I want to eat meat or not. There are many arguments over these more nuanced nutrition programs but for now just reduce the crap that you eat.

Just Move More

2) Start Moving More – no matter how much you move now just move a bit more. Go from the coach to a walk around the block. Go from sitting all day to standing some part of the day or getting up very hour to stretch and move. If you walk already, try transitioning to some easy running. Just move more.

Taming the Lizard

3) Tame the Lizard – the base of your brain or what some people call the lizard brain is focused on keeping you alive so when it perceives stress whether it be an approaching lion or approaching deadline, it kicks into gear and among other things can trigger cravings for sweets. Sweet foods are high in sugar and sugar is easily burned if you need to climb a tree to get away from the lion and easily stored if we are about to go into a famine. This increase in easy calories however is not needed to sit down and stop procrastinating on that deadline and is not need later either so it just becomes fat, increases insulin and starts a cascade of bad stuff that leads to the above chronic diseases. Our Lizard Brain also doesn’t like movement as it wants to conserve energy for when its needed to escape predators and hunt but we don’t do that much anymore but when you think about going to the gym or going for a run, it still kicks in with that little voice urging you to stay on the couch.

So how do we tame this lizard that in name of saving us from threats is really starting to kill us? You need to break the connection between the stress and the sweets. i.e. the boss’s email creating a craving for that chocolate bar. There are several tools that you can use to do this but fundamentally it comes down to interrupting the message from one to the other within the lizard brain so the more rational part of your brain can kick in.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom,” Victor Frankly in Man’s Search for Meaning. 

So how do we train ourselves to do this. There are probably many ways but here are two tools that I have found helpful: 1) 5,4,3,2,1 – Whenever you feel a craving or start walking towards the fridge, simply countdown from 5 to give yourself the space for your higher brain to kick in and take over. This is the crux of Mel Robbin’s Five Second Rule. Mel has a great book and a lot of online information that go into more detail. 2) WIRM – Witness, Interrupt, Redirect, Maintain. This is simple tool that I found at The Unbeatable Mind with Mark Divine, a retired Navy SEAL. When you feel a craving or notice something starting to brew inside your lizard brain, just witness it or notice it. Then use a quick mantra to interrupt it like NO or STOP or whatever and then quickly redirect this with another automated response such as instead of sugar I will just walk around the block and finally maintain it or reinforce it with another mantra like Everyday In Every Way I am Getting Better Stronger and Leaner or use Mark’s Looking Good, Feeling Good, On the Way to Hollywood. Make up your own sayings and give it a try or just use Mel’s countdown to see how it works.

BoomerangFit is a community of primarily baby boomers who believe that they can still be do whatever it is they want to do such as climb a mountain, run a marathon or just run around the back yard with their kids or grandkids. Age is just a number and aging doesn’t have to mean less mobility or fitness or saying goodbye to your goals.

If you would like to get more information about our community here at BoomerangFit, please CLICK HERE and give us your email address. We won’t sell this info to anyone and will just send you info we think will help you improve your fitness. 2020 is going to be your year.