Strong & Lean
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I keep wondering who that old fart is that looks back at me every morning as I brush my teeth. He looks many years older than I feel, so it is not me,or is it? Aging certainly changes our appearance but we should not let it change who we are!
Continuing to participate in all the activities that have pleased us all of our lives is what adds to the quality of life and keeps us feeling young. Just because we cut back on working, does not mean that we have to give up playing! Moderation and staying fit are the keys to enjoying life to the fullest.
Even if you have been inactive for quite a while, it is not impossible to regain a level of fitness that will allow your body to resume doing the fun things you once enjoyed. In my case, it was golf in the fair weather months, and skiing in the winter.
I do not walk the course and carry my clubs anymore, but I can still get up-and-down as well,or better, than I use to do. I still find the view from the ski lift, tram or gondola awe inspiring, the cold air invigorating, and the trip down challenging. It takes me a little longer and I seek out a trail with fewer moguls and more gentle slopes, but I still love doing it! You will too, if you prepare yourself properly.
Get a good physical, including a stress test, before starting any kind of conditioning program that alters your exercise routine and/or diet. Your primary care physician should be consulted about your desire to get fit. The results of a thorough physical will highlight any potential problems that are unique to you, and that will respond positively to specific changes in your diet and/or exercise program. Your physician may prescribe a series of sessions with a licensed physical therapist, if he finds a condition that simple, at home exercises, can not correct. Most likely, he will just provide you with a packet of illustrated home exercises that will improve your overall physical condition. Alternatively, he might recommend a general activity like bike riding, swimming, power walking or some other sport that you are experienced in, as a way of improving your fitness.
Paying attention to your nutritional needs is as important as adequate exercise. Controlling how you fuel up your body is crucial to your overall fitness. Heart healthy eating keeps from clogging up your arteries, promotes better circulation of the blood that feeds your muscles, organs and brain with much needed oxygen. Many of our required nutrients are no longer being supplied by the over processed foods
we get at the grocery store. You may wish to consider going organic, or to add supplements to your diet. Folic acid and a complex vitamin B supplement are often recommended for heart healthy living, along with Omega 3, found in fish oil capsules.
Do not forget to go to bed at a reasonable time. The body needs rest to recover from the stresses we put on it through the normal activities of the day. Regular exercise and proper nutrition do a lot to reduce stress and ease tension in our bodies, but nothing rejuvenates us like sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, do something about it! See your doctor, get a new mattress, have a toddy--solve the problem! You owe it to yourself.
Look for humor in all situations you encounter. It is not only physically beneficial to laugh, it does wonders for your mental health as well as having a positive social impact.
Do not settle for a sedentary life style when you are still young at heart. Getting physically fit makes life a lot more enjoyable. Get out there and rediscover all the fun times that can still be had. Exercise, nutrition and rest is the formula that works.
In closing, I want to emphasis two things; preparation and moderation. Remember to warm up and stretch out for at least ten minutes prior to any strenuous activity and for at least five minutes at the finish to your session. Stretching is essential in avoiding injury and maintaining your flexibility and range of motion. Just do all things in moderation and enjoy!
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