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It's Never Too Late To Get Healthy

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As we get older we become so set in our ways, the most popular mindset is "it's too late for me to start now; what ever damage is done cannot be reversed". This could not be further from the truth. Once again, I refer to myself, and the lifestyle changes I have made since turning 50. I made up my mind that I could not go up another size, and I was determined to make the necessary changes in diet and exercise to make that happen in the healthiest way possible, without killing myself with exercise, and continuing to eat the foods I really enjoyed. It is never too late.

The American Heart Association has a physical activity readiness questionnaire that should be used as a guide before adding any additional physical activity to your routine. They ask questions and address issues such as; heart conditions and medically supervised physical activity, chest pain, dizziness and loss of consciousness, breathlessness after mild exertion, high blood pressure and associated medication, bone or joint problems, or any other physical limitations. Once you have addressed any or all of these issues with your healthcare professional, you can start to add more physical activity to your life. For more information on adult fitness, and it's importance please go to adultfitnesstest.org . The AHA also recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. This was my initial goal when starting my plan, and it has been a great guide to go by. Walking is of course the most popular, and easiest to maintain consistently. You can break it up during the day into 10 minutes, 3 times a day, or 15 minutes, twice a day. Whatever suits you and your schedule. I usually walk the dog a couple of times a day, in addition to parking farther away to get more walking in. If you have read my previous articles, I have always tried to stress the importance of finding the exercise you enjoy in an effort to develop a consistent exercise routine. Everything counts; golf, racquetball, baseball, softball, soccer, etc.

Now for some fun facts about how exercise generally affects your overall health in our later years. First realize that physical activity is anything that makes you move your body, and burns calories, and aerobic activity such as walking, jogging, biking, zumba, racquetball, etc, .is beneficial for your heart. Exercise and physical activity boosts your mental health, and relieves anger, tension and depression. In other words, it makes you feel good. It also increases your immunities, reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease. Physical activity also lowers your blood pressure which can ultimately help you reduce or stop any medications you may be taking, in addition to boosting good cholesterol. For each hour of exercise you gain 2 hours of life expectancy, even if you don't start until middle age, according to the AHA. How great is that!! Other advantages of exercise after the age of 55 are prevention of bone loss, which reduces the risk of fractures, and increase in muscle strength, which contributes to balance and coordination and ultimately reduces the risk of falling.

Basically, physical activity increases your quality of life for much longer than you could have ever imagined, and will ultimately continue your independence, without having to depend on others later in life.We have one life to live and one body to live in. Life is precious and should not be taken advantage of. It's up to you to make that difference and take that next step to the best you can be.

Make it count and live for today in order to have a better future tomorrow!!

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