Stay fit in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond…

For me, staying fit has been a lifelong aspiration. As a personal trainer for 37 years, it has not

only been my personal quest, but it has also been my goal for my clients. I willingly admit that I

thought I was going to be young ,healthy and beautiful forever. But as Father Time marched on,

I realized that youth does fade, health will decline, and beauty is relative. With that being said,

that does not mean that we cannot stay fit, be healthy, and try to stay as beautiful as possible

inside and out.

My fitness journey started at age12. A classmate told me my stomach was fat (the funny thing

was, I weighed about 70 pounds, soaking wet.) The next day I went to the library and got a book

by Jack Lalanne who was the big “fitness guru” of the day. If you are trying to guess my age,

this should give you a clue. I started doing his exercises daily and soon picked up my first

dumbbell. It was a love that is still with me til this day. I made it a career but YOU can make it

part of your lifestyle at any age. Someone once said this about the journey into fitness: “First, it

is a CHORE, then it is a HABIT, then it becomes a LIFESTYLE!”

So, how do we begin our fitness journey at any age and make it part of our LIFESTYLE forever?

You simply START! Whether you have been a fitness buff your whole life or you are just getting

started, there are things you can do to get better, stronger, and more fit. Rachel Payne, a

Fitness Professional and coowner

of House of Payne in Atlanta says it well, “It takes

consistency, commitment and choice. It will happen when you CHOOSE to make it happen and

you make that choice a million times everyday! It also takes balance and the knowledge that life

does happen. But as a mother, wife and business owner, I know that I am more effective,

productive, and energetic when I take the best care of myself, which in turn allows me to be the

best for others. Making myself a priority is the best thing I can do so that I can be the best wife,

mother and businesswoman I can be.”

As we age, our bodies change and our dietary needs must be adjusted. I think this is where a lot

of people mess up. They continue to eat the same foods and amounts of food, but their

metabolism slows and they are less active. This is a scenario for weight gain. We must cut back

on saturated fats. Too many saturated fats can also diminish our memory and concentration

skills. Eat nuts for better fat . Almonds are one of the best. Eat smaller portions. Use the palm of

your hand for a guide. If you feel tired and you feel you have a slowing metabolism, get your

thyroid tested. The thyroid can be the culprit, according to hormone specialist Tracey Livingston

of Valdosta Health and Wellness. Also make sure you get all your B vitamins and vitamin D.

Exercise is one of the best things for our entire body, mind and soul. As for me ,I believe it is the

fountain of youth. By that, I mean it is truly the key to keeping every part of ourselves healthy

and whole, and feeling and looking good. I admit that in my 20’s and 30’s I worked out to look

good. Now in my 50’s, I do it to maintain a quality of life, to feel good from the inside out. To

start an exercise program you need 3 things : a plan, a purpose, and someone to hold you

accountable . Working out with a partner / trainer helps.Track your food intake and progress.

Moving the body and eating healthier can make a difference. It is never too late. When talking

with potential clients, I always compare our bodies to cars. We all change the oil in our cars, we

put gas in them , we wash them, and carry out proper maintenance. We would never think of

putting beer or Coke in our gas tank. Our car would not work properly and soon it would not

even crank up. We can always buy a new car, but we only have one body. And yet, we fill it

over and over with things that are not healthy or good for us. If you want to have good health as

you age, proper diet, exercise (30 minutes 5 x weekly) and sleep ( at least 7 hours daily) are

essential. Enough hydration (water) is also a must, at least 64 oz. daily.

For the past 37 years, fitness has been a daily part of my life, but benefits can be gained

starting at any age. Make it a nonnegotiable

priority in your life and commit to be fit in your 40’s

.50’s and beyond.

Maria Lane Wells is a certified trainer @ Factor X Fitness in Valdosta and @ Kinderlou Forest

Subdivision. She is also the Host of Black Crow Media’s FITTALK radio w/ Maria on Thursday

nights from 67pm

on 105.9 WVGA. Contact Information:

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