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Hard Work is the Prescription

I know…where did the time go?? It seems like yesterday we were in our 20’s. Well, time waits for no one. So, what now? Grow old gracefully? Accept weight gain, aches, pains, droopy skin, exhaustion, and sedentation as the new way of life? No! Growing older doesn’t mean we give up and break down. We can still be fit, healthy, and active well into the later years of life. If life has caught up to you and you are stressed by a demanding job, a change of life, a health issue, or simply a loss of motivation-know that youthful fitness and heath can be achieved. But don't assume you can jump into any exercise routine-Your body has aged; your body has changed physically, metabolically.

Exercise is key to your independence and a superb quality of life

The changes in our bodies as we age often are not always obvious. As we glide through our 40’s into our 50’s, we lose strength and muscle mass. The remaining muscle is less flexible and less hydrated. Our cores have weakened and as a result so have our back muscles. Vision, inner ear, and neurological changes could cause balance issues. These and many other issues can cause it to be uncomfortable to move let alone exercise. But we must. We must keep exercising. This will keep us young.

Before beginning any kind of exercise program, you must get clearance from your primary care physician. The “all clear” from your physician is crucial if you suffer from heart disease, have risk factors for heart disease, or lung disease. Once you have clearance from your physician, think about which type of exercise routine appeals to you. I believe functional fitness is crucial to the mature population.

Consider if you are new to the world of fitness or a returning soul. This will give you a place to start. If you are a novice then start with a basic beginner’s workout. If you are familiar with exercise then seek a more challenging workout. Everyone should have basic strength and flexibility. You need to perform the basics, like raise your arms over your head, lift your legs, and maintain balance.

No matter if you are a beginner or an ex-pro, you must ease into exercise. Start with a low-intensity workout for 10 to 20 minutes. Increase the intensity and length over time. This applies to weight training as well-begin with light weight and gradually increase the load over time.

Exercise is hard work, I will never try to sell you a magic pill, concoction, or supplement. Hard work is the prescription, Hard Work! But the payoff is worth it! We lose muscle mass as we age, and exercise can help rebuild it! Muscles burn more calories than fat, even at rest, which will offset slowing metabolism due to aging. Exercise, along with proper nutrition, can aid in stopping, delaying, and improving serious risk factors for illnesses such as, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Exercise will help your brain-improving mood and cognitive abilities. Exercise will keep us young for decades to come.

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