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Over 40's, 50's & 60's
Fit for Life 40's
Job and family life have settled into a routine. Children can probably look after themselves and you have more time to yourself and you may feel the need for a new direction.

How do you feel about exercise?
Possibley you'd feel out of place in an aerobics class. You may be carrying some extra weight and feel slow and breathless. But don't despair - it's not too late to change. Starting an exercise regime now can improve your fitness later and even reverse some of the effects of ageing.

What's your body doing? Ares and breasts start to sag; specific exercises for these areas can help. Lung capacity declines. Fat cells are stored on stomach, bottom and thighs. Dramatic reduction in muscle protein means you'll lose a lot of strength and speed during this decade. Osteoarthritis may develop. You may be seeing the first signs of the menopause.

Which exercise is best?

Stamina: Build up to three 25-minute cardio-vascular workouts per week.

Strength: Use 3kg dumbbells for 30-45 minutes three times a week.

Suppleness: Gentle stretches for 5-10 minutes twice a week. Hold for 15 seconds and don't bounce or push. Concentrate on the chest, upper arms and waist.

Try......... Swimming, pilates exercises using a DVD, yoga, tennis and walking.

40s to: Don't rush it! You'll benefit more from exercise if you ease in gradually.




Fit for Life 50's
The children have either left home or are self sufficent, so you have time for new interests. The menopause ma have left you feeling a need to rethink your role in life.

How do you feel about exercise?
You know it's important but you don't really know how or where to start!

What's your body doing? You're burning calories more slowly so you need to eat less in order to stay the same weight. You're losing weight from you face/upper chest but putting it on your stomach. Bone mass is lost rapidly, with a real risk of osteoporosis - weight bearing exercise will help. Joints have stiffened and are less flexible.

Which exercise is best?

Stamina: Three 25-minute cardio-vascular workouts per week.

Strength: A few small press-ups each day, plus 25-30 minutes with 1.5-3kg dumbbells twice a week.

Suppleness: Gentle stretching for 5-10 minutes twice a week. Concentrate on stomach, thighs and waist.

Try......... Swimming, brisk walking and pilates.

50s to: It's vital you warm up before you exercise - otherwise you may injure yourself.




Fit for Retirement
Exercise is the best form of preventive medicine. It keeps your joints mobile and helps with balance and co-ordination as you get older.

If you have been inactive for a long time, get your doctor to check you over before you start an exercise programme. Then gradually, building up to longer sessions of walking or swimming, for example. Stop and switch to something different if you're in pain - for instance, if you find arthritis is troubling you.

Remember it will take you longer to recover after exercise and you may feel stiff the day after. Concentrate on flat walking until you feel fit; climbing can strain arthritic joints or cause chest pain and severe breathlessness.

Age itself is no barrier to fitness. A 70-year-old who has exercised all her life can have the heart and lung capacity of a 30-year-old couch potato! And research shows exercise can increase muscle mass and strength in older people.
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