It wasn’t too long ago that folks would have thought it weird for a 50 year old to be lifting weights or working out. But Mark Haverland, director of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs, says the tone of American life has changed. Haverland says staying fit is one way to control your own destiny. “Exercise is one of the ways that you can actually take matters into your own hands and be healthier as a result of what you do yourself,” he says. Despite the statistics showing more and more Americans are obese, Haverland has hope for the Baby Boom generation.Haverland says today’s 40- and 50-year-olds will live longer and healthier lives because they’ve developed regular exercise habits and paid attention to nutrition. Haverland says the trend “will change and alter the trajectory of aging a lot” in the coming years. Haverland says the “health-kick” that’s struck older Iowans will affect Iowa’s nursing home industry. Haverland says there’ll be a decreasing demand for nursing home care as folks are able to delay that “final step” to advanced care because they’ll be healthier in their 70s and 80s. Haverland says the notion of retirement as permanent leisure is, perhaps, going to go away and that is the most significant change between the current generation and the generation that’s soon to retire