Getting Fit By Ages and Stages

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We're all aware that the body goes through some major changes over the years. Combinations of natural and man-made forces work together to push us further down the path to old age. It sounds depressing, but luckily we're not totally helpless against this process.

Staying fit and healthy makes all the difference when it comes to the aging process. You can't avoid getting older, but you can help your body roll with the punches the years throw so you can be in the best shape for your age.

Fitness isn't just an exercise routine; it's important to take the condition of body, mind and spirit into consideration when you want to be your best.

In Your 20's

Pros: You're probably in good shape, or have the ability to improve your body fairly quickly. Your energy and strength are high. You're finding your place in the adult world and really experiencing your independence. Your mental outlook is probably hopeful.

Cons: You may abuse your body and push yourself to the limit, working, partying, and/or studying too hard. Your diet might consist mainly of pizza pockets and diet soda. Your responsibilities possibly keep you seated for long periods, leading to unwanted weight gain. There may be lots of stress and drama involved with school, relationships and entering the workforce.

What to do: You have the energy; you just need to take control and plan your activities more wisely. If you find yourself sitting a lot, make sure you get some physical activity. Walk to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or find a running buddy to do some laps around campus. Invest in some weights or a yoga DVD. Cut back on the junk food. Switching from soda or sugary drinks to water is a great idea. You may not have the time or skills to create gourmet meals, but throwing together a salad or boiling some eggs are simple and doable ways to get healthy natural foods on your table.