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Prevention is such an important part of taking care of our health as we push through the years. Its essential to be aware of the unique health and fitness considerations you should be taking to promote great long term health.

Take control of your future and reduce your risks by assuming a healthy life. There is no better time than here and now to change your habits into great ones. Keep your long term objectives and goals in mind to maintain good motivation through your transition stages.

Eat Balanced Meals

The first step is to eat balanced meals. If you're trying to lose weight, cutting out entire food groups is a terrible mistake which in every case, leads to failure. Carbs are essential to cell functioning and formation, along with quick energy production. Cutting carbs to lose weight is simplistic and unrealistic to maintain for life, even though it has become a popular weightloss tactic . To maintain health, it is best to eat whole grain carbohydrates like whole wheat breads .

Also remember that you need fat and protein as a part of a good diet. Each meal should contain all three macronutrients. Protein is essential to maintain, repair and grow connective tissue, muscles, and tendons . Having a good portion of good quality protein also takes more time to digest and leaves a fuller feeling for longer. Fat is essential for the metabolization of fat from the body itself, and is also an essential energy source for some cells.

Balancing your meals, and including plenty of fresh vegetables of various colors- red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, etc, is a direct relation to the kinds of vitamins and minerals you'll naturally absorb. Eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables will keep the brain alert , and your digestive processes moving smoothly.

Eat Often

As a 20 year old, you can easily get over missed meals, and recuperate without noticing it. As an adult, blood sugar levels should be consistently maintained to help maintain and healthy body weight, and smooth functioning. Eating often also means snacking . Snacking on healthy foods is a great way to avoid eating unnecessarily large meals, or stuffing yourself. Snacking on things like dried fruit , or nuts is a great way to keep energy up during the day while not compromising your health.

Drink Water

The body runs on water. The body is also made up mostly of water, and is essential to functioning , just like grease is to an engine. Its been said before, and we'll say it again, always drink plenty of water to  stay hydrated! A simple trick is to always keep a reusable bottle with on you, that way, you'll also know how much you've drank in a day.
 

Exercise for a Full Life

To really enjoy life, time must be made to exercise. Any kind of exercise is great, but it is essential to perform weight training exercises at least 2 times per week. Just 30 minutes, 2 times per week has been proven to slow or stop muscle atrophy, and help to maintain metabolic rate. Exercise should be a daily activity , and can range from gardening in the afternoon to a brisk walk after dinner to bicycle ride with the family. Joining a gym is not the only way to exercise; consider taking hikes, dance classes, swimming, and any other enjoyable activity.

Weight training programs should include some weights, and a few exercises which target all of the major muscle groups.

Here is an example:

2 sets of 12 Deep Squats

2 sets of 12 Shoulder Presses

2 sets of 12 Bench presses

2 sets of 12 Bent Rows

2 set of 15 Crunches

This program is very quick, and can be done from home with a few sets of dumbbells. This can be a great program to start off with. Once you've mastered these exercises, you'll need to change up the program incorporate new exercises, add weight, etc to always maintain the challenge. This is enough work to maintain muscle, help to maintain metabolic rate (if not increase it), maintain good bone density, and get your heart rate elevated.
 

  • “Healthy Ageing- Stay Physically Active” Published August 2011. Accessed February 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Healthy_ageing_stay_physically_active?open
  • “Health Issues for Women over 40” By Michele Borboa, MS. Published April 2009. Accessed February 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/808658/health-issues-for-women-over-40
  • Photo courtesy of andyrs on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/andyrs/5205281813
  • Photo courtesy rafaelmarquez of on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/rafaelmarquez/6069417037
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