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Real Life Boomer Health Tips

Real Life Boomer Health Tips
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BY NINA MALKIN

Once upon a time, you ate as you pleased, partied rock star-style and bounced back the next morning like a Super Ball off a concrete stoop. Now, well … suffice to say you’ve probably made certain adjustments to create a healthy lifestyle that works for you—and makes friends wonder how you pull it off. So why not share? Here, men and women just like you reveal their secrets for keeping fit, eating smart, staying sane and basically living in beautiful balance. Read on—and comment back with tips of your own!

“I’m a daily exerciser and cook most of our meals, which are pretty healthy. Still, I gained the post-menopausal 15! I knew something had to go: cocktails or ice cream. I picked ice cream. But deprive myself? No! Now, before bed, I ‘indulge’ in a bowl of high-fiber cereal with fruit and one percent milk. It satisfies, and by my next physical I was back to my fighting weight.” — Rebeca Diaz, 57

“In  2009, I was 320 pounds—and I’m only 5’7″. A busy attorney and CPA, I didn’t have a lot of free time for the gym so I set up an indoor treadmill and built a desk around it with a computer system. I started walking for large portions of my workday, and now I’m down to 175 pounds. No drugs, no surgeries, just a little effort. And I feel great!” — Stanley Bronstein, 57

“Sticking with exercise means variety: taking different kinds of classes, and making sure they’re fun. I also make my workouts non-negotiable by blocking them out on my calendar.” — Rahti Gorfien, 58

“When my wife and I bought one of those thick foam mattress pads at Costco a couple of years ago, our sleep life changed dramatically. We can’t believe how comfortable we sleep now, through the night, like contented babies. This one thing alone has literally changed our lives. If I could plead with people to do one thing it’s to try a foam mattress pad.” — Don Klosterman, 63

“Have sex! It burns calories and gets your heart pumping. Studies show that men and women who continue to have an active sex life are more likely to stay fit and healthy for life. It’s one reason I feel more vital and vibrant than I was in my thirties.”  — Genie James, 56

“I consider myself to be in excellent health—no meds, active, happy, etc.—and my secret is taking time to recharge. Every afternoon, I find a quiet place outside and set my phone alarm for 15 minutes. Then I shut my eyes and relax, sometimes catching a quick catnap, other times just to decompress. After that, I’m focused and ready to go again!” —  Michael Argiro, 56

“An active, reliable support system of friends is crucial to wellness. When an emotional low happens, your friends are a comfort, a sounding board and a nudge to get out and do something.” — Mary Curro, 72

“I read an article not long ago by New Yorker essayist Roger Angell, basically about what it’s like to be 93, which mentioned how he memorizes poetry to ‘keep my brain from moldering.’ I stole that immediately. It’s made me sharper and more literary, but I guess I can be a pain in the ass when I start spouting!” — Anthony Orleans, 60

“You always hear ‘strength, cardio and flexibility,’ but balance is a crucial part of the fitness equation, especially as you get older. I consider myself to be in shape, so I was shocked to learn I couldn’t stand on one leg for 30 seconds. I tried tai chi but it wasn’t for me, so now I practice standing on one leg while I brush my teeth.” — Sandra Coexter, 59

“Count breathing is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. Inhale for four, exhale for six. The longer exhales sends a message to your brain: No tiger! Continue for one minute, four times a day. Use a mirror for biofeedback: You’ll see your jaw and shoulders relax. Does stress reduction really make you live longer?  Edmund Jacobson who taught relaxation died at 97, still working and writing. Indra Devi taught relaxation and died at 102.” — Murray Grossan, M.D.,

“I got one of those health tracker wristbands as a gift. I’m competitive by nature, so seeing hard data on how much I actually do every day encourages me to be more active.” — Veronica Slaughter, 54

“There was nothing really wrong, except for a few headaches, some acid reflux, days when I lost concentration or energy—same as for anyone else over 50. Then I met a terrific woman who’d gone gluten free, so I decided to try it. Not easy, because I was always a bread guy, but worth it. Those ‘not so bad’ symptoms don’t bother me at all anymore.” — Paul Repinski, 53

 

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An all-around wordsmith, Nina Malkin is a journalist, novelist, copywriter and memoirist. She’s also an avid collector of lovely things from eras past—read her musings at http://www.vintagevirna.blogspot.com/