New Castle News

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April 10, 2014

Lori Brothers: Wellness a growing trend among those over 50

NEW CASTLE — The power of choice that the explosion of Internet information has generated is moving us as a culture in a direction to examine who we are and what we really value.

Statistics show that the Internet is the most important source of information for Baby Boomers when making decisions. Using the Internet to research health and wellness information online has risen to 82 percent of the boomer population, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

U.S. Census records show that 77 million people were born between 1946 and 1964, which is defined as the “Baby Boomer Era.”

The power of decision belongs to each of us. We each have the ability to make a difference in our lives. Lifestyle is no longer a concept that lays dormant. In the scope of living, we are very different than generations that have gone before us.

Unlike our ancestors, tradition is no longer the norm. Rather, tradition adds to the fabric of choices instead of limiting our health due to what we are discoveringabout how we eat, exercise and interact with each other.

This information is now at our fingertips so that we all can determine how we will live well as choice-makers who have expanded our choice pallet in every area of our lives.

It is healthy to review traditions and ways of living that may not align with current personal goals. Looking at attitudes such as “all work, no play,” or determining why you eat certain foods or whether or not you are sedentary or active, is all up for consideration when reshaping your goals for health and well-being.

Baby Boomers have an especially unique opportunity to be much more influential with shaping new traditions for themselves and their families. Due to their sheer size as a cohort, they are also becoming powerful influencers of the culture at large.

By 2015, those who are 50 and over will represent 45 percent of the U.S., population according to AARP.

In the next 10 years, U.S. Baby Boomers will increase their annual spending on wellness-based services from approximately $200 million to $1 trillion, according to Paul Zane Pilzer’s, The Next Trillion.

In fact, Americans 55 and over are the fastest-growing age group among gym members, up more than 266 percent since 1987.

Seventy-eight million Americans who were 50 and over as of 2001 controlled 67 percent of the country’s wealth, or $28 trillion.

No matter what your age, looking at the history of your family’s eating patterns, attitudes about living a sedentary or active lifestyle, and beliefs about communication or expression of feelings between family members can be essential in being a leader for yourself and your family’s health and well-being.

Taking on this role as a leader for change and for the betterment for yourself and your family is a worthy goal.

Quality of life and health is the new focus of this and future generations because we have the information and the willingness to make a difference in how we choose to live and sustain our own health and well-being over a longer period of time than those who have gone before us.

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