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Study reveals expectations of a healthy retirement in baby boomers

As 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age each day, most of them are expecting to have an active and healthy life as they age. While that is certainly the goal, some experts are sensing that there might be a disconnect between what some boomers think is going to happen, and what they are doing now to make sure it happens.

A recent NPR survey revealed some particularly telling statistics. For example, while only 1 percent of respondents who have not yet retired said they expect their exercise to decrease once they do, 34 percent of those who have already retired said that they have exercised less since they stopped working.

"There's already evidence that people are starting into this retirement era with burdens," healthcare futurist Jeff Goldsmith told NPR. "I mean a third of the generation is obese, and a third is overweight. And even though people talk a good game in terms of exercise, it's not clear the numbers actually support it."

Despite Goldsmith's grim predictions, the NPR study did show that boomers who are not yet retired know what needs to be done for them to stay healthy as they age. Specifically, it pointed out that 72 percent of boomers polled say they have increased their exercise, while 68 percent noted that they have changed their diet. Whether or not they maintain their healthy attitude after retirement remains to be seen, of course.

Along with staying physically fit, as the survey points out, following a healthy diet is critical. There are a number of foods that are well-suited to the unique needs of baby boomers. In particular, fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains have shown to have positive benefits in terms of preventing heart disease and other conditions. Most experts recommend about 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories.

Though the NPR survey shows that 32 percent of respondents get less exercise after retirement, that is likely not be case for residents at Del Webb's Village at Deaton Creek in Hoschton, Georgia. Homeowners have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center that offers yoga classes and water aerobics, among many other options.

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