Ping Yahoo A Fabulously Fit Fifty ~ HEALTH CARE

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Fabulously Fit Fifty

At fifty, many of us take stock of our lives. We can look back on careers, friends, and family that we are proud of, but what do we want to do with our middle years? How can we make the most of our lives? Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of our later years, as well as the one that may have the greatest impact on our overall well-being, is our health and fitness. How, then, can we best ensure our health and fitness into our mid and later years? Exercise!

Exercise can help slow down the onset of the symptoms of aging. The health benefits of a good exercise program are numerous. Exercise helps maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility. In addition, the stress put on our bones through exercise help maintain their strength and integrity. Even our mood can be improved by staying healthy?researchers have discovered a link between exercise and a decrease in depression and anxiety. This may be due to the increase in energy and the improved sleeping patterns among fit fifty year olds.

Of course, nothing beats exercise for battling weight gain and getting our body into the kind of shape that can still turn heads as we walk down the street. Besides that, our blood pressure tends to drop, lowering the chance of heart disease. Even our immune system gets a boost from regular exercise. Believe it or not, physical activity has even been linked to improved mental function!

Before starting to exercise, it helps to create a list (write it down!) of the reasons you?d like to become or stay fit. Think of the advantages of living a longer and a more active life. Referring to these sources of motivation can help you stick to an exercise program.

Set aside time each day for exercise. Doctors say that health benefits increase measurably with as little as 30 minutes of exercise 5 times each week. Of course, the more we work out, the greater the benefits. We encourage you to increase the length and duration of each day?s workout.

Pick activities that appeal to you. From walking, running or cycling, to push-ups and sit-ups to actual weight lifting, at home or at the gym, each form of exercise has its own benefits to keeping you fit and strong.

Make sure and start each day?s exercise with stretching and a warm up period. This will reduce the discomfort to the joints and muscles after the exercises are done. It will also prevent more serious muscle injury. Similarly, after a workout, make sure and take the time to stretch and cool down. This too, will help the body recover from the exercise session.

Don?t overload yourself early on, and make sure to know your limits and not push the body too hard. Avoid using joints and muscles that are experiencing pain. Starting off too ambitiously may result in a strong desire to quit working out altogether. It?s much better to begin slowly and ease yourself into the exercise program. After your body has adjusted to the higher activity level, you?ll be able to increase the intensity and duration of the workout.

Of course, not all exercise needs to be work, dancing, yard work, sports, and dips in the local pool can all be a part of an active, healthy life.

In addition, it may help to combine exercise with activities you enjoy. Walking, running, or biking with friends and family can be far more enjoyable than exercising alone. Treadmills, stair-steppers, weights, and exercise mats can be placed and used in front of the television during the morning or evening news as well as during your favorite television programs.

Examining your diet can also be helpful. Diets high in fruits and vegetables will not only aid in overall health, but can provide an increase in energy that will allow you to do more with each day.

How you decide to stay fit and healthy is up to you. At home or at the gym, on a bicycle or in a pool, many fun and enjoyable alternatives for a healthy life exist. While you consider how to make the most of your middle years, getting or staying fit and healthy may be the most important thing you can do. Don?t wait! Fifty is a great age to focus on getting and staying fabulously fit


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