Tidbits and Fit-Bytes: Fifties and Funerals

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Tidbits and Fit-Bytes: Fifties and Funerals

By: Mary Van De Velde

Maybe it’s just because I’m in my 50’s that I notice it more, but doesn’t it seem like more and more people are dying in their 50’s?? The most recent famous death was Prince at 57, but I’ve heard of a bunch of friends and acquaintances that have passed recently, mostly due to cancer or heart attacks. It’s way too young since we all know 50 is the new 30. I find it very hard to go to funerals for fellow baby boomers since it gets us to think of our own health and what we’re doing to make sure no one will be mourning us any time soon!

Doctor appointments should be as popular as our kid’s play dates used to be! We need to get serious about our health and too many people in their 50’s think they’re in good shape, but still need to get all parts checked!

We all know we should get a colonoscopy at the age of 50 and I finally scheduled my first one…I know, I know, I’m a little late. We should also be seeing a dermatologist to check out all those bizarre moles, brown spots, and other ugly things invading our once clear skin. Melanoma is popping up more often in the baby boomers after all our days sunbathing with baby oil. My sister used to tan while lying on aluminum foil on our roof! She thought she was extremely cool, now she’s regularly seeing her dermatologist.

This is also the time when all our unhealthy lifestyle choices seem to catch up on us. Some of us don’t eat healthy foods, don’t exercise, have high cholesterol, or we don’t get enough protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals…the list goes on and on. The majority of us are overweight from all the fast-food binges that have finally caught up to our middle-age bodies or the lack of doing anything physical. Our body muscle is being replaced with body fat and we have to work harder and harder to get rid of it. Then diabetes could show its ugly face from abnormal blood sugar levels. Yikes, too much to think about and I didn’t even mention if we were smokers!

Also, all our senses are failing. We have to get our eyes checked more often for vision-robbing diseases, our teeth checked for gum disease, and our ears for hearing loss. Thankfully, I don’t think we need to get our noses checked, except for moles… molee, molee, molee…..LOL

I don’t think I’ve covered the fact that our hair and bones may be thinning, our bladders may be overactive, and our sleep patterns may be changing. Ok then…no wonder chronic stress is a common problem for people in their 50’s!

While looking around at the last funeral I attended, I noticed many people should be going to the doctor right now, but many are also in the best shapes of their lives. There’s no excuse….we’re not only baby boomers, but empty-nesters with more time to spend taking care of ourselves. So make those doctor appointments and while you’re at it, make one with the dietician and especially the gym!

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