Poll Finds More Baby Boomers Need to Get Moving


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  38 comments   :  20,766 Views

The majority of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are reaching an age where health becomes more of a concern.  That means a healthy diet and regular exercise should be a priority to help reduce the risk of problems like heart disease and diabetes.   But according to a new poll, only half of baby boomers are exercising as much as they need to, and more of them are obese and overweight compared to those who are older and younger.  If you're in this age group, what can you do to help reverse the trend?
This poll, conducted by Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com, randomly recruited participants using online interviews, telephone and mail sampling.  They found that most baby boomers get some aerobic exercise at least once a week, but not enough to provide the maximum health benefits.  37% never strength train, something that becomes so important because of muscle loss as we age.  
The most common form of aerobic exercise among those surveyed was walking.  The good thing is that if done enough, the benefits of walking can really add up.  You don't have to spend hours at the gym to get the health and weight loss benefits of regular exercise.  Another bit of good news:  "about 60 percent of boomers polled say they're dieting to lose weight, and slightly more are eating more fruits and vegetables or cutting cholesterol and salt."
Even if regular exercise doesn't have as much of an impact on weight loss as what you eat, it's still very important, especially as you age.  Regular exercise helps improve strength, mobility and reduces the risk of disease.  One researcher in this field "led a study that found a modest weight loss plus walking 2 1/2 hours a week helped people 60 and older significantly improve their mobility. Even those who didn't walk that much got some benefit. Try walking 10 minutes at a time two or three times a day, he suggests, and don't wait to start."
What do you think?  Are you a baby boomer who is physically active?  Are the majority of friends your age active as well?

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  • 38
    This was a good and really interesting article. Thanks for posting - 6/22/2017   9:02:53 AM
  • 37
    Wish I could look like the super-fit boomer in the pic that accompanies this article. Seems like an impossibility for me. - 4/27/2012   6:46:12 AM
  • ADNWA1
    I too am a baby boomer and very proud. I have expierenced a siatic attack. Still I have decided that I will not let this boomer body dictate what I can't do I Zumba, Yoga, Water Aerobics. One of my boomer friends told me motion is the lotion. So I say hang in their do what you can long as you keep moving it does get better. - 8/2/2011   3:43:06 PM
  • CHUNK40
    Yes, another baby boomer here who is physically active. Have to be, I sit all day at work. I try, and mostly due 30 min aerobic activity in the morning and at lunch time. I then work out with weights and an hour aerobic session 2-3 days a week. I have to since I have not won the war with my eating habits. - 8/1/2011   2:48:16 PM
  • 34
    I am a baby boomer, and have been physically active, my whole life. It's only been in the last 8 months, that I've slowed down, due to severe arthritis. I get my first knee replaced in November, and 2nd. about 6 months later. I certainly expect to be back at the pool, and on my bike, after that. I love yoga, and hope to do some of that, again as well. - 8/1/2011   12:43:21 PM
  • 33
    I'm a war baby (1944) married to a baby boomer (1946) and we are very active ... walking, hiking, biking. We are a bit more active than most of our friends (I think). - 8/1/2011   11:49:25 AM
    Yes I am an AARP card carryer! I walk for 30 minutes 5 days a week. I also do some light weight training (more weight will come with time and new strenght). Most of my friends are active as well. - 8/1/2011   10:31:52 AM
  • 31
    I qualify for this group being born in 1961. I walk with my dogs at least an hour a day and have done for the past eight years. I swim often and sometimes take fitness classes. I'm still overweight having lost 2 stone three years ago. I'm working on getting my weight down further and improving my fitness - 7/31/2011   7:15:47 PM
  • 30
    Yes!! Baby Boomer here. Yes!! Physically active!! I am in better physical shape now then I was 25 years ago!! - 7/31/2011   12:16:18 AM
    I live in Colorado, which just won the title of "healthiest" state. I wish it was all positive news for Colorado, but we're also getting heavier even if we are the "lightest" state right now. But for me and my friends, most of us are very active. We bike, run, walk, weight-train, the whole gambit. Our culture here is very fitness-oriented. When my husband and I travel, it's a shock to see much larger people than we see at home. It's also harder to find healthy options at restaurants than we can find at home. Obviously there's a correlation between those two observations. - 7/29/2011   10:46:27 PM
  • 28
    I am a baby boomer with a physical job. I walk for hours, lift, stretch, but although it helps me, my body is used to it. I need more. Sometimes I can fit an hour in, but I know that I can fit 10 minutes, at least 3 times a day! It is slowly working. Oh, and that physical job has left me with knee issues. Getting off the extra weight will help a lot! - 7/29/2011   8:29:16 PM
  • 27
    Well, being born in 1944, what am I then? Had thought that I WAS a Baby Boomer????? In any case, with Zumba, I am actually more active now :-)
    What's in a name? - 7/29/2011   6:06:41 PM
  • 26
    I'e been very active since joining Spark last October - but only after my doctor scared me into it. I was a procrastinator, and then he informed me the deadline had arrived. I must say, I have so much more energy than I did a year ago. - 7/29/2011   4:43:57 PM
  • 25
    I am VERY active - I am so hapy to have found like minded people who enjoy being active as well! We have a lot of fun - check out my home page! 59 years old! - 7/29/2011   11:33:00 AM
    I want to more physically active I'm taking care of my husband who needs 24 hour care I do get some help, I do I try to go for a walk or bike ride or do some workout in my bedroom it is very hard because he needs help getting up and walking, it seems to me that I'm in jail with no chance of getting out. - 7/29/2011   10:25:53 AM
  • 23
    I am a baby boomer who excercises inconsistantly. I have arthritis flare ups, and I have to rest sometimes in between. The cost of water aerobics in my area is out of my reach. I would do that if I could afford it. - 7/29/2011   10:07:29 AM
  • 22
    I am a baby boomer (age 64). I've been more active since coming on board with Sparks. I do 2 hr/5 days a week and on weekends maybe 90 mins walking. And I'm like some others here, we walk as much as we can. Now I must say that my kids are doing the same and excerising as much as possible!! - 7/29/2011   7:59:25 AM
    I have more time to be active so does so many others I know. Need to look at generation y they will have big problems. - 7/29/2011   2:37:10 AM
  • 20
    I was born in 1950 and I am more active now than I ever have been in my life. I just got home from playing a late round of golf this evening after I spent the day cleaning the house, laundry, grocery shopping, meeting friends for lunch and still had time to do my workout tonight.
    People tell me all the time to slow down!!! why so I can get OLD, this girl is not going to slow down I am just starting to live a full and happy life without the stress of raising children and being mom to half the neighborhood kids.
    I wish I could have started with this phase of my life it would have been a lot more fun along the way. I am living a very active life. - 7/29/2011   2:22:16 AM
  • 19
    Yes, I"m 61 and I find lots of ways to exercise now, like ZUMBA that is free on YOUTUBE, and "Country Line Dance" that I have DVD's and do in my living room using my VCR. My mother never had access to any of these, but she did have JACK LaLANNE, bless his heart, may he RIP. I know getting exercise is very important. - 7/28/2011   11:52:28 PM
  • 18
    I'm 57 and very active after gaining the encouragment I needed from friends and this site. DH is active in short spurts - weekends or golf course only. - 7/28/2011   11:36:37 PM
  • 17
    I was born in 1946. One of the reasons we moved to the town we live in now is the amazing street life. We walk nearly everywhere. We do Pilates and I have just started Iyengar yoga, both of which provide significant strength training. Our children think we're crazy to walk when we could drive. Our favorite form of relaxation is canoeing. We don't have a TV, but computers can be addictive too! - 7/28/2011   11:29:15 PM
  • 16
    I am also a baby boomer who is very active! I do 5 to 6 days of cardio as well, I also do strength training and pilates! I have always been active and plan to stay that way!!! - 7/28/2011   11:18:01 PM
  • 15
    What do you think?
    Yes I need to move more.
    Are you a baby boomer who is physically active?
    Yes, I am .
    Are the majority of friends your age active as well? Nope , and I try to encourage as much as they want to here it. It is to bad that most start when faced with the (health issues) .It makes things that much harder.

    - 7/28/2011   10:42:36 PM
  • JAY75REY
    I'm a late boomer (age 54) and I'm as active as I can be given some pain in knees and feet. It's my goal to stay active consistently throughout the next 10 years if physically possible. I try to exercise 30 minutes a day...mainly walking but mixed with Zumba, swimming, bike riding. I'm quite overweight, but my main problems come with the eating. The exercise is something I enjoy doing.

    DH is a classic boomer (age 61) and he currently is sedentary. I'm trying to coax him to get off the couch more often but he definitely loves his TV (a boomer characteristic, we were the original TV generation). - 7/28/2011   4:13:30 PM
  • 13
    I am 63 and need to get off my butt. I used to exersise regularly but have stopped. I need to get back to it. I watched my mother decline to a wheel chair due to her lack of exersise. I want to keep mobile as I age. I need to do more than just think about it. - 7/28/2011   3:16:17 PM
  • 12
    Unfortunately I am a boomer who has stopped exercising. At one time it was something I did not even think of but now I really have to plan time into my schedule for exercise. Over the last few weeks I have noticed that the quality of my mother's (87) balance, strength stride is diminishing quickly and I blame it on her lack of exercise more than her age. I am determined to start now and make exercise a healthy habit that will follow me into my 80's ! - 7/28/2011   3:06:23 PM
    I became disabled several years ago and it has been quite a struggle. I realized I needed to find some kind of exercise I could do. I kept remembering how fit I used to be and how much I used to workout. Once I adjusted to being disabled I found I just have to be more patient. I found swimming to be the best exercise. I have lost 50 pounds in the last year and I feel so much better. I have my good and bad days. I now know I just have to realize I am limited and I have to adjust to it. I love SP and they have been so supportive and encouraging. - 7/28/2011   2:51:07 PM
  • 10
    I'm also a Baby Boomer. I was extremely active when I was younger. Until I was hurt around age 40. I'm now in my 50's and trying to just get healthy. My health has gotten out of control, and weight loss will help! I'm so happy I found this sight. Thank you for the inspiration. - 7/28/2011   2:03:26 PM
  • 9
    I can't help but think, when SP posts blogs or articles about how people need to eat healthier or exercise more, that you are pretty much preaching to the choir! Nevertheless it's a good reminder of the importance of strength training to retain muscle because I know even here on SP, people skimp on it, and nearly every boomer I see in real life is pretty flabby. - 7/28/2011   1:36:58 PM
  • 8
    At 65 I am more active than I have ever been........let me re-phrase, more CONSISTANTLY active. As a teen I danced on weekends, in later years I biked for transportation. Now I walk daily (minimum of 45 minutes, 18 minute mile) and bike weekly, also strength train several times a week. I am also eating the healthiest I ever have, and am proud to say I am off ALL medications. One of my heroes is 91, and I have seen the man do a 5K in 35 minutes! - 7/28/2011   1:36:41 PM
  • 7
    I am a baby boomer and I am very active. I even got my best bud Dennis (baby boomer too) to be active. Yes it does help. When people ask me why I walk so much I tell them it's stroke therapy. My dad and 3 grandmas died from strokes. And I don't want to do that. - 7/28/2011   1:32:45 PM
  • 6
    I'm so thankful for sites like Sparkpeople that educate and encourage us. I'm a baby boomer who is trying to stay healthy and active and I hope to never give up. - 7/28/2011   12:14:52 PM
  • 5
    Also a Baby Boomer who exercises regularly. I don't really like sweating so I have to push myself to do anything aerobic, but the increased energy and the elevated mood results make it worth it! - 7/28/2011   12:08:40 PM
  • 4
    I'm a baby boomer who does cardio 5-6 days a week (30 min mim.) + ST 2 x's a week. It DOES make a difference!! - 7/28/2011   11:35:55 AM
    This week (and last!) I am a baby boomer who is physically active. I am also a "boomer" who needs to lose weight and eat healthy! The good news: I am trying and I still have hope. - 7/28/2011   10:44:49 AM
  • 2
    I am proud to say I am a Baby Boomer who is physically active. The majority of my friends are as well. - 7/28/2011   10:06:34 AM

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