Health & Wellness

Boomer Edition | 10th Annual | 2014

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Page 75 of 147

For boomers, overcoming vices can go a long way by Scot Kersgaard You know you're a baby boomer if you remember smoking behind the school, seeing Dean Martin get soused on TV and watching McDonalds go from 1 million to billions of burgers served. You also know you're a baby boomer if you fell into some of these bad habits that have come back to haunt you along the way. Today's baby boomers are at the age where cancer and back pain are as common as braces and acne to the teen-ager population, and giving up the bad habits relatively common to their generation can help them heal better from medical treatments and enjoy a higher quality of life in their later years, experts say. While diet and lifestyle choice play a role in overall health, they also play a role in a person's ability to recover from major surgery or major health issues and go on to live active lives later, says Dr. Joseph Morreale, a Denver-area back surgeon. His colleague, oncologist Dr. Andrew Nemechek, agreed. "People who take care of themselves, who eat right and get some exercise, are much more likely to do well with cancer treatments or surgery," says Nemechek, who treated former Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl (see Page 88). The baby boom generation has a history of substance abuse; many people who grew up in the 60s and 70s tend not to see alcohol and drug use as a 74

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