Baby Boomers Cause a Boom in Wellness Industry

We all know that health and happiness are connected. Perhaps no one knows that better than us baby boomers as we age.

Turns out that our interest in longevity and living well into old age is giving the wellness industry quite a boost. Organic foods, yoga studios, fitness clubs, and natural beauty products are experiencing substantial growth, according to new industry reports. You might think it’s the millennials who are pushing these trends. However, we baby boomers are doing our share to bolster these holistic markets.

We want to improve our health and delay the physical effect of aging – but true to our hippy roots – we want to do it naturally.

How can you jump on the bandwagon to take advantage of some of latest offerings from the wellness industry? Here are a few ways:

Organic FoodsHealthier Foods

Boomers have been reading food-product labels for years, but we’ve become even more conscious of our diets as we age. The fact is that boomers are paying more attention than previous generations to food choices.

A survey by Whole Foods indicated that four in five boomers are more food conscious, more attentive to food labels, and know more about the origins of their food products than they did in the past.

Evidently, we’re jumping on the trend to buy organic foods as well. Sales of organic food have soared in the last decade – from $3 billion in 1997 to more than $10 billion in 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. No doubt, this is due to the controversial use of synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, additives, and insecticides, as well as a concern about environmental practices.

Even boomers like me, who don’t always buy organic, are interested in healthier options. I’m steering away from processed food and definitely into eating more fruits and vegetables. As part of that goal, I’m planning to plant a garden in my new backyard this year. 

If you’re not in this category and still driving through McDonald’s, why not start taking advantage of all the new options out there and start eating healthier today? 

Baby Boomer ExerciseTrendy Exercise

Compared to older generations, fitness is more culturally ingrained in baby boomers. For many of us, exercise is part of our daily routine. However, although we want a good workout, boomers also want to have fun.

Forget low-impact aerobics. We’re signing up for Zumba, yoga, and kick boxing classes. Stroll around the park? Heck no! Give us a mountain bike or kayak instead. Or we’re out jumping on the trampoline with our grandkids.

As a result, fitness programs geared to boomers are popping up around the country. People ages 55 and older are one of the fastest growing segments of gym membership, according to research firm IBISWorld. In fact, the study predicts the boomer generation will help push the fitness category to nearly $30 billion by 2018.

“Baby boomers have changed every market they have passed through, starting with baby food and diapers through education and right up to the automotive industry,” said Lori Bitter, president of consulting firm the Business of Aging in Alameda. “Now it’s fitness.”

Once again, that’s good news.

New research just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death.  

So boomers, we need to get moving. Take advantage of some of those trendy exercise classes designed just for us or try aqua cycling or indoor surfing. Whatever rocks your boat – even if it’s simply walking  – just get off your butt!

Natural Beauty Products

Our generation’s approach to getting older is a bit of denial. That’s why we’re always on the hunt for beauty products that are good for our skin and help us look as young as we feel.

I personally have no interest in plastic surgery. My wrinkles tell my life story and I’m keeping them. And of course, there are more important things to focus on than our looks. That being said, I have my share of anti-aging beauty products.  I’m grateful for improved technology and an increased availability of skin care treatments and products. And if they’re all-natural – bonus points.

“Making them [baby boomers] look vibrant and sexy as they get older is huge,” says Mary Furlong, a professor of entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University in California and author of Turning Silver Into Gold. A higher divorce rate among boomers than previous generations also means an renewed interest in beauty and body services. “When you are 60 and dating again, it takes a good week to look good,” says Furlong, who is nearly 60 herself.

So, if you’re so inclined, why not have some fun and embrace this natural beauty trend as well? There are a lot of interesting products out there like lemon honey moisturizer, organic rose hip oil serum, or a cleaning oil made from tea tree and lavender.

We boomers are getting older but evidently we’re still influencing industry specialists who are scrambling to understand our wants and needs as part of the lucrative boomer market. Of course, their primary goal is to make money off of us, but we boomers can take advantage of some of the new options becoming available.

Or not. Totally up to you. You certainly don’t need to try all the new trends to stay healthy and happy. Simple common sense will get you there.

Whatever you choose to do, as Spock would say: Live long and prosper, boomers!

Images courtesy of Stoonn and stockimages at


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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7 Responses

  1. Ah well. I find the whole health and fitness world very confusing and annoying. They are always changing their minds about what’s healthy and what isn’t. I don’t like that I’m fat and out of shape, but I’m tired of feeling (not from you) like I’m being bullied into it. It just makes me resistant. There are so many things that are stressors in my life, why add having to constantly worry about every little bite I put in my mouth or having to put up with getting all soaked with sweat everyday?

    Sorry – a sore spot for me. 🙁

    • juliegorges says:

      Oh, I hear you girl! We boomers have been around the block. The experts said take vitamins – then they said don’t. Stay away from avocados because they have fat in them and are bad for your cholesterol – never mind, it’s the good kind of fat. And on it goes… That’s why I said at the end of the article, a little plain common sense (and balance) can go a long way towards health and happiness. To be honest, it’s more likely you’ll find me taking that slow stroll around the block walking the dog than one of those crazy spinning classes at the gym. I also hate to sweat – as I’ve gotten older it makes me itch! Keep truckin’ but don’t sweat it, Pearl. No pressure! Life is too short, right?

  2. Exactly! You hit it all exactly! 😀 And amen, life is too short to add any more pressure to it. 😉

    Hugs! <3

  3. Cat Michael says:

    Well, Julie, I am certainly one to follow any advice by my fave Vulcan, Mr. Spock! Having a positive attitude and keeping a healthy life style have served me well over the years. When I don’t exercise, I notice a dip in spirit as well as a rise in weight! Plus, it’s fun trying new ways to stay healthy, as long as they’re not costly in terms of time or money -:D

    • juliegorges says:

      Oh goody, Cat. Another trekkie! I’m with you. One of the reasons I don’t buy organic is because it’s so expensive. It’s why I want to plant my own garden instead! And yea for having fun and staying healthy. Me and hubby love to hike, kayak, and try new things. Why not?

  4. Thanks for repinning 2 of my pins to your Baby Boomer board because it led me to your blog. I have been following you on Pinterest. Menopause was so long ago & it fortunately came & went without making an impression upon me. But at age 76, I am thinking a lot about aging gracefully. Like Pearl, I get so confused by all the health & food info I haven’t paid much attention to it, but I do regret all the extra pounds I’ve collected. Enjoyed this post and many of your other ones.

    • juliegorges says:

      Thanks Roslyn! Glad we were able to connect both on Pinterest and my blog. Although I’m 55, the thought of aging gracefully and staying happy through my old age is on my mind as well. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog. Glad you’ve enjoyed some of my posts and thanks for leaving a comment. Always makes my day!

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