Naps, knitting and nuzzling with the grandchildren - the
traditional image of retirement is being challenged by the
more than 76 million baby boomers in the United States.
This vibrant generation wants to make the most out of their
golden years, and while hobbies and time with grandkids are a
priority, they want more. To do so, they know that a
proactive approach to health and wellness is a must.
Matt Johnson, a health and performance expert and president
of On Target Living, admires the tenacity boomers and all
seniors exhibit when it comes to maintaining their health and
well-being. He suggests five incredibly simple, yet powerful
ways to age healthfully and keep those engines revving at
peak performance, no matter how vintage the model.
1. Take advantage of pit stops
"Lack of sleep is the fastest way to age the human body,"
says Johnson. "Additionally, adequate sleep is extremely
important for a healthy brain. Deep REM sleep allows the mind
to rejuvenate. Memory, creativity and cognitive function get
refreshed in this stage of sleep."
He recommends three steps to achieve quality sleep. First, go
to bed at the correct time to achieve eight hours of sleep.
Second, unplug and avoid digital devices that put out
stimulating blue light. Third, add the relaxing mineral
magnesium to your routine by taking an Epsom salt bath or
foot bath once a week.
2. Fuel your machine
"I like to tell people to think of nutrition as fuel for the
body; without the correct fuel, the engine and components
can't work correctly," says Johnson. "The most critical
nutrients that boomers don't get enough of are supergreens
and omega-3s. We know we all need to eat more green veggies,
but did you know that up to 91 percent of the American
population is deficient in omega-3s?"
He recommends every boomer get 1,500 mg of EPA and DHA each
day via fish oil. As for supergreens, he recommends spirulina
and chlorella (types of algae), and frozen wheatgrass.
3. Get an oil change
Some oils are considered healthy and others cause health
problems. Johnson recommends:
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for salad dressings, baking
and low-temperature sautéing
- Virgin coconut oil as a substitute for butter and baking
- Cod liver oil as a supplement to get omega-3s (not for
- Vegetable oils like canola and soybean which are heavily
processed and often made with GMOs.
4. Rev your engines daily
"The benefits of exercise are endless, but the underdog
benefit is how it makes us feel and think," says Johnson.
"You should move your body if you want to stay sharp and
Find an exercise program you enjoy, he suggests. "Exercise is
the fountain of youth, but you shouldn't do something you
don't like. Make sure you move your body daily. If you are
looking for suggestions, think about hiring a trainer to
learn a set program. I think focusing on form and technique
over intensity is the first step."
5. Schedule regular maintenance checks
"Play offense instead of defense with your health," says
Johnson. "Modern medicine is better than ever at early
detection and treatment."
The key is to focus on prevention. "Use annual doctor visits
to screen, ask questions and monitor your risk factors.
Remember, you can only get good answers if you ask good
questions," he says.
Finally, Johnson reminds people that anti-aging doesn't
exist. "We are all aging - the key is to age well. This means
to aspire to quality of life. We all have motivators in our
life: kids, grandkids, spouses, careers, passions, etc.
Without your health, none of these can be enjoyed to the