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Home  > Health >  Fitness

Trim the Fat
by Karen Andes

If a regular fitness routine is as distant a memory for you as getting carded in a bar, don't sweat it. You still have time to get in shape, if you change your ways today.

More on getting in shape:
Shock your way to bigger muscles.
Everyday chores that build strength.
Getting fit means loving those aches.
Learn to train like an Olympian.

Commit to the following nine principles, and fitness at 40 or 50something is yours.

1. Move more.
Get up and move for a minimum of 20 continuous minutes at least every other day.

2. Stay balanced.
Make sure you get a combination of strength work, cardiovascular exercise and stretching.

3. Mix it up.
Vary your workout every day to avoid injuries of overuse.

4.Build your strength.
If you've skimped on strength training, start doing two, full body-strength workouts a week, especially if you're female. (Yoga, Pilates or muscle-conditioning class may be all you need.)

5. Be a lightweight.
Forget about lifting heavy weights. Lighten up the poundage and clean up your form instead.

6. Make a commitment.
Don't take off more than three days in a row unless you're sick or injured. But make an exception when your body demands it.

7. Spare your joints.
If you run on concrete, switch to dirt trails, fast walking or non-impact activities like dancing or biking.

8. Just do it early.
If you can't find time to exercise, get up an hour earlier and do it. Morning exercisers have the highest success rate with sticking to a program.

9. Take the long way.
Always take the stairs and the long way to your destination.

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Ann Louise Gittleman
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