Baby boomers: living healthier lifestyles with diet and workout
By: Tony Fama
Howard Feinberg was 57 when he had a heart attack. He thought he was in pretty good shape – “but I didn’t eat well,” he said. “In fact, I ate horribly. People who used to work with me … used to know that we had a closet that was chock full of chocolate and pretzels and all this stuff. And we work in a high-stress environment, and a lot of us ate our stress. We’d walk to that closet a dozen times a day; I was the worst culprit.”
Sandy Roberts is a dietitian with some simple advice: “getting back to just basics. Are we eating fruits and vegetables, which are such an important part of our diet? Are we getting two and three servings of fruit a day? Are we getting – wow – five to nine servings of vegetables that we need every day?”
Feinberg has followed that advice, and it’s helped him shed 80 pounds in a year-and-a-half. “So, no-fat yogurts. Fish. Chicken. Tofu. Nothing processed. Nothing fried. All cooked well,” he said. “That’s the first thing. Second thing was fresh vegetables and fruits. Again, that could be cooked – that’s fine. But no sauces.
No bread crumbs. No nothing. Absolutely no cake, no ice cream, no desserts. Zero. Zip.”
But diet is just one important part of a two-part approach to a healthier lifestyle. According to Ernie Bernhard, a physical trainer, for older Americans looking to improve their health, diet and exercise must be part of the same program. “What the baby boomer needs to do is go ahead and start walking and doing the bike nice and slowly. That will get you there – and the proper diet,” he said. “And the way to do it? It’s a package deal. The diet has to be there in conjunction with the exercise.”
For Feinberg, there’s no turning back. “If I could give anybody advice, first of all, don’t wait for the heart attack.”
Howard Feinberg’s story was featured on 50PlusPrime, a TV news magazine for baby boomers that is broadcasted every Sunday at 6:30 a.m. on WOAI TV 4, San Antonio. Visit www.50plusprime.com for more information.