When I was in my twenties, a twenty-minute run every day was enough to keep me in decent shape.

I didn’t need to pay much attention to what I ate, and I rarely suffered from aches and pains.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gradually increased the time and intensity of my workouts. I now exercise every single day for approximately an hour. I’ve learned that without a very thorough warm-up, I end up extremely sore for the rest of the day. I’ve realized that I need to work on my flexibility every day or I lose it. I don’t want to slow down, give up activities I enjoy or suffer from avoidable health problems. I am now 56 years old and I’ve watched my peers gain weight, lose strength and have troubles with balance. Many of them are on medication and have gone through hip and knee surgeries. I take very good care of myself because I want to lead a long, healthy and rewarding life. I know that if I don’t devote attention to my body, it will fail me. I include a great deal of strength training in my workouts. Along with lifting weights, I use my own body weight for plank holds, push-ups, inverted push-ups, lunges and squats. I go through a variety of balance exercises and include a minimum of thirty minutes of cardio in my routine. Although I often go for a run or ride my bike, I prefer to jump rope. It’s an excellent way to get my heart pumping, work my lungs and increase stamina. Along with physical activity, I am conscientious about drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods.

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