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Fitness at any age maintain your swagger through diet and exercise.

In today's busy world, it's getting harder and harder to pay attention to what you eat and to take time to exercise. And it shows. Since the mid-1970s, the incidence of overweight and obesity has skyrocketed among children and adults, according to data from two National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Among adults who are 20 to 74 years old, the prevalence of obesity almost doubled from 15 percent in the 1976-1980 survey to 32.9 percent in the 2003 to 2004 survey. The health reper cussions are grim: hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and possibly some cancers. So, with that in mind, it is important for Americans of all ages to take charge of their diets and find time to exercise. It's best to establish healthy patterns when you're young, especially in your 20s, says Carla Fields, an award-winning fitness competitor and certified fitness trainer in Decatur, Ga., who has been in the business for 15 years. That way you can develop habits that can last into your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.

DAWN STROZIER

RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills, Calif.

OCCUPATION: Personal trainer

DIET: I cook most of my meals, which are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. I eat six meals a day. A sample breakfast is comprised of five egg whites, one whole egg and a bowl of oatmeal. For lunch, I might have a broiled chicken breast and broccoli. For dinner, I might have a salmon salad. The other meals throughout the day are mostly protein shakes.

WORKOUT: I'm a trainer, so I work out with my clients six days a week. (Clients include celebrities like Steve Harvey.) In your 30s you begin to lose muscle mass, so I'm particularly diligent. I might climb the famed 196 stairs i,a Santa Monica, walking or jogging. I do that three times a week. Other forms of cardio exercise include kick-boxing, which I teach. I also teach aerobics, and I enjoy walking on the treadmill while watching a good movie. I also weight train Monday through Friday.

DAWN SAYS: "I like to say working out adds life to your years and years to your life. It helps my confidence. It makes me feel good about who I am."

30s FITNESS

1. Get a routine yearly physical exam, especially African-Americans with a family history of cardiovascular disease. 2. Exercise 5-6 times a week, combining aerobics and weight training. 3, Abstain from smoking, heavy drinking and any recreational drug use. 4. Early morning workouts are best for improved metabolism. 5. Alternate your exercise routine. 6. Do plenty of stretches to avoid injuries. 7. A lowfat, low-cholesterol diet is an absolute must. 8. What you eat now will affect you as you head into your 40s and 50s.

25 J.R. DAVIDSON

RESIDENCE: Los Angeles

OCCUPATION: Actor, model and customer service rep.

DIET: I eat up to five small meals a day. In the morning, I'll have fruit; midday, nuts; lunch, cheese and crackers; a protein bar before dinner; and chicken or fish and vegetables for dinner. The frequent meals help keep my metabolism going and boost my energy throughout the day.

WORKOUT: I'm very conscious about my abdominal muscles, so I do 300 sit-ups and 200 push-ups daily. For cardiovascular health, I play basketball three days a week. In the summertime, I body-board in the ocean once a week, which is a great flail-body workout.

J.R. SAYS: "It's easy for me to stay fit because my mother trained us to eat healthy foods. Eating healthily does not seem like a chore. The effort to stay fit is made easier by my love of sports. I love to stay active. For me, my body is all I have, so I have to take care of it. It's the one thing that I'm gifted with for the rest of my life."

20s FITNESS

1. It's important to get a good and thorough physical exam. 2. Get 6 to 7 days a week of aerobic and weight-training exercise for 1 hour. 3. Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet to develop habits that will follow you as you get older. For six days a week, avoid fast food at all costs, but allow yourself a "cheat day" once a week (but cheat within moderation). 4. Abstain from smoking, heavy drinking and recreational drug use. 5. Get involved in organized sports to encourage discipline in exercise and to help keep you focused on goals.

41 TIMBERLY WHITFIELD

RESIDENCE: Riverdale, N.Y.

OCCUPATION: Host of Hallmark Channel's uplifting and inspiring series, New Morning

DIET: Vegetarian.

WORKOUT: A typical week might include a spinning class on Sunday, a one-hour workout on the Elliptical machine on Monday; spinning and total body workout on Tuesday; working out with a personal trainer on Wednesday; kick-boxing on Thursday; and Hatha Yoga and Pilates on Friday. I like to try to get in a cardio workout, so when I'm working with a personal trainer for an hour of Pilates or strength-training, I may follow it up with an hour of cardio, typically on the Elliptical machine (better on the knees). [In your 40s, you might notice stiffening joints and loss of flexibility. So, like Whirfield, you might want to alter your workout plan.]

TIMBERLY SAYS: "I'm in the gym up to six days a week. And, frankly, I find that it's best to go first thing in the morning."

40s FITNESS

1. Exercise at least 30 to 45 minutes a day, up to 4 to 5 times per week; get a day's rest between each workout. 2. Do plenty of "warm up and warm down exercises" that will help reduce muscle injuries and soreness after exercises. 3. Stick to a plan of exercising in the morning because the day's stresses can often become an excuse not to exercise. 4. Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.

DR. HILTON HUDSON

RESIDENCE: Chicago

OCCUPATION: Chief of cardiothoracic surgery, Franciscan Physician's Hospital in Munster, Ind.; chief executive officer and thunder of Hilton Publishing Co. in Chicago, Ill., and the Health Literacy Foundation in Munster, Ind.

DIET: I eat mostly fish, chicken and vegetables and drink plenty of water. On Sundays, I eat what I want within moderation. I dine out most of the time. When dining out, you have to be a stickler for what's added to your food.

WORK OUT: I work out five days a week, including cycling at least 52 miles on a stationary bike, swimming 3 miles and running 6 miles on a treadmill. I lift weights and do sit ups once a week.

DR. HILTON SAYS: "I have a lot of pride in staying fit, and I believe it is just as important to keep yourself in excellent shape as it is to keep your mind sharp. Vanity is the lowest priority. Spiritual health is important as well. The healthier you are, the longer you are going to live. Exercising and following a healthy diet are also great stress relievers and promote inner pride."

50s & 60s FITNESS

1. As should be done at any age, see a doctor before you start an exercise regimen, especially if there is any doubt about your heart or physical condition before you start an exercise regimen. 2. Take long walks and engage in low-impact exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. 3. Learn to listen to your body and do not to push too hard. Slow down if you feel pain. 4. Drink up to 6 glasses of water daily. 5. Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet at least 5 to 6 days a week. 6. If you are having any doubts about your health, check it out with your physician.

MORJORIE NEWLIN

RESIDENCE: Philadelphia

ACTIVITY: Bodybuilding

DIET: I don't follow a special diet, but I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. [She is taut at 5 feet tall and 103 pounds]. I don't eat anything fried because I don't like greasy foods. For breakfast, for example, I eat oatmeal or cereal with bananas and whole milk. I'll also have meat, fish or eggs.

WORKOUT: I work out four days a week. My cardiovascular routine includes walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes or up to 20 minutes on the Elliptical machine. Then I do weight training, which is comprised of squats, with weights; chest press, raising 15-pound dumbbells in each hand; chin-ups; and biceps curls, raising 15-pound dumbbells in each hand.

MORJORIE SAYS: "I lift weights and exercise, but I don't load up on weights to build muscle or starve myself to look lean. I simply eat right, take vitamins and exercise."

TIPS FOR 80s and beyond

1. Continue to get a yearly physical exam. 2. Stay active. Make a motivational list, and display it in a conspicuous spot. Post on your bathroom mirror a list of all the benefits, including gaining energy, looking better, sleeping better, etc. Keep a diary to weed out inactivity. Keep an activity log to determine ways to squeeze in more activity. Be sure to set modest goals. 3. Socialize. Instead of meeting friends over a meal, suggest a walk, or offer to take your grandchild to the park instead of going for ice cream. 4. Drink plenty of water. 5. Pay close to attention to temperatures outdoors. 6. Wear proper clothing to avoid sun damage in the summer and proper clothing to avoid frostbite in the winter. 7. Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH & FITNESS SECTION
Author:Holloway, Lynette R.
Publication:Ebony
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Words:1571
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