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Are the Elderly more Active in Europe than America

January 27, 2012

Since I been living in Germany I have took in many comparison of America and Europe. One comparison is that the elderly people here are very active and mobile. Whether on crutches, in wheel chair, or rolling crutches with a basket attach. Great to use for shopping bags and to carry big purses. I have been living here for a couple of years now and visited many part of Europe. I am hoping to see all that is on my traveling list of Europe before I turn 50 than venture out to Australia and Africa. We are travelers but since there is only one income we have slow down a great deal from the 10 years we been together.

Everyday I try to go for a walk even if it is just to the park 30 minutes away to sit down, relax, and enjoy the simplicity of life. During my walk and relaxation I sit and think to myself of how many active older people are in Europe. There are many bicyclers. Some walk with not so much energy and others walk quicker and stronger than me. I have to smile when they past me by. I talked to a couple of my neighbors always about my insight to hear their view on the topic. There are not many nursing home here and I totally understand why. In America from all the places I have live and visited I barely seen the elderly walking or outside, other than to take care of their property. I seen many in nursing home and assistant living. It is just weird really.

What are these elderly people in Europe doing to stay active and strong. I honestly can’t tell you. All I know in Germany they eat a lot of fibrous bread. There are so many variation of bread it is crazy and bakery at almost every corners with tasty goodies. You would think there would be a lot of fat people in Europe with all the bakeries and easy to reach pastries, that they actually consume! But there are not a lot of fat people here as myself (I have nothing against the fat and lovelies). They walk and bicycle a lot if they do not have to use their cars to drive far distance. Some even take public transportation such as buses and trains because sometime it is cheaper than gas and walk the remaining way to their destination. The people here are very active. Breakfast is typically but not always bread, lunch meat/sausage or jam with butter/Nutella with a cup of tea and coffee “almost every morning”. My sister in law think American breakfast is too much food to consume in the morning. Lunch is pretty simple when at home which is almost like breakfast. Dinner is normal food such as potato with salad and meat or soup with bread. Before dinner is “Tea Time”. Tea time is consist of a slice of cake and tea/coffee. I hate tea time, lol. I am not a cake person.

The next time you go shopping or for a walk take a look to see if you see many elderly people walking or bicycling. I be interested to hear your observation and your thought.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2012 10:05 am

    I think the way our neighborhoods are set up, at least in the suburbs, it is all houses no businesses. So if you want to shop you have to drive even if you are young. Some are trying to plan areas better for access to shopping and business mixed with housing. But the way areas are zoned now, one is residential, another commercial and there is usually distance between them.

    • January 29, 2012 11:13 pm

      Hi Harold, that is so true. You made me think back at the structure of the state. If one is not living in the downtown area one do have to drive about for shopping and restaurants. Here everything are so close and too many of. Such as hairstylist, doctor offices, bakery, a little market if not a store, and etc. I think you truly hit it on the nail. If business places was in reachable distance people would walk more and become active.

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