EVERYTHING on my personal health radar has to do with maintaining peak fitness for my age. That said, getting older is definitely not for sissies as my body reminds me daily.
And since Boomers are apparently healthier than Gen Xers (see #7 below), here’s my best advice for my younger friends:
- Never let your weight get out of hand (treat it like a life and death situation, because it is!) Every single aspect of my health has been dictated by my weight.
- Do something physical for at least 1 hour DAILY – workout/walk/ ride a bike/ take the stairs
- Keep your mind sharp: read books, learn new skills, seek out new and interesting people to add to your network.
Here are the 9 most important health trends I am currently tracking:
- 2 out of 3 Americans are either overweight or obese (Source: CDC)
- 1 in 3 obese people suffer from arthritis
- Obesity causes excess fat in the body which releases inflammatory chemicals that may play a role in arthritis flare-ups.
- Osteoporosis is a major public health concern for 44 million Americans aged 50 and older.
- The orthopedic industry is booming!
- Women who don’t exercise and who spend too much time sitting, are biologically eight years older than their counterparts who are more fitness-oriented!!!
- Physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old.
- Exercise has been found to keep the cells “younger.”
- Get your flu shots people – even though this year, only 48% effective!!
- A recent study of 100 years of infectious disease deaths shows that only pneumonia and the flu are still dominant– and responsible for nearly 40% of all deaths from infectious diseases today.
Read on below for more health trends. I am especially psyched about FORWARD, the new tech-forward doctors’ office concept created by Google and Uber alums based on their first-hand medical experiences.
Very excited about this. FORWARD emerged from stealth mode in January and currently has only one doctor’s office in San Francisco.
The company offers a futuristic take on the popular concierge medical practice model, complete with state-of-the-art diagnostics tools, an artificial-intelligence system that listens and takes notes for physicians, and a pricey $149 monthly membership (that last part I don’t like!).
The company’s engineers built diagnostics tools and a mobile app that patients use to book appointments.
In 45 seconds, the data sends to Forward’s backend system. Patients can view their results from an app on their phone, while their doctors can access them from the exam room.
The exam room is where the real magic happens. The first thing members see when they walk in is a massive touch-screen display on the wall.
It shows the member’s history and sensor data, and it makes suggested diagnoses and treatment plans based on what it knows about the person. For example, if the doctor and patient decide to make weight loss an ongoing wellness goal, the display might recommend new exercise and dieting habits to help the member reach that goal.
Boutique gyms make up 42% of the U.S. market – double what it was just two years ago.
Boutique gyms are about total experiences for which consumers are willing to pay a premium.
Popular themes: Boxing, throwback fitness classes, hip hop yoga, team-based workouts, rope waving, rowing, barre and cardio fusion-combined, and a whole lot more.
DECREASING: The use of echinacea for colds, ginkgo biloba to preserve memory, garlic to promote heart health and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.
INCREASING: Probiotics and coenzyme Q10 supplements. Also, vitamin D, which may be beneficial for heart disease, some cancers and fractures, went from 5.1% in 1999 to 19% in 2012.
There was a sevenfold increase in adults taking omega-3 fatty acids (often sold as fish-oil supplements). Its usage rate grew from 1.9% in 1999 to 13% in 2012.
- One in three don’t go to the doctor out of fear of finding something wrong.
- 55% of Gen Xers have had an annual physical exam in the past five years, compared to 72% of boomers.
- Only 40% of Gen Xers — versus 55% of Boomers — are getting the recommended screening tests for timely disease detection. This despite the fact that Gen Xers believe lifestyle choices play an equal (66%) or greater (20%) role than genetics in their health.
- Particularly interesting at a time when the life expectancy for Americans has declined for the first time in 20 years. And almost half of adults suffer from at least one chronic health condition, some of which could be prevented or better controlled through lifestyle changes. These include hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
- The development of very fancy video games has resulted in a pattern of compulsive use of these games that may serve as a substitute for drug-taking. (Source: Nat’l Institute of Drug Abuse)
- American teens are using fewer illicit drugs, with the exception of marijuana.
- Teens who lived in states where medical pot is legal are more likely to use marijuana edibles than smoke it.
- Alcohol use is also down with 37% saying they’ve been drunk in the past month, down from the peak high of 53% in 2001.
- Drug overdose deaths have increased by 33% in the past five years across the country, with some states seeing jumps of nearly 200%.
- 30 states saw increases in overdose deaths resulting from heroin and prescription painkillers.
- New Hampshire saw a 191% increase while North Dakota, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine had death rates jump by over 100%.
- In 2016, more than 52,000 people died from drug overdoses (vs. 37,757 who died in car crashes or gun deaths which totaled 36,252).
- Heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers are the primary drivers of addiction in recent years.
- Seeing this happening on my block in NYC again! This past month, the number of junkies has doubled. Not sure where they are coming from or what they’re smoking but it’s bad.