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Fit for Life

Fitness has no age limits. The more we learn, the clearer it is: physical activity is vital to every stage of life.

FIT KIDS: IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Though young children seem to have boundless energy that makes them the envy of many adults, children of the 1990s may be less fit than at any other time in history. One study showed that some 40 percent of U.S.children have at least one major risk factor for heart disease by the age of 12. Obesity and physical inactivity in children are linked to a host of health problems in later life.

Children benefit immensely from fitness activity, and there is evidence that habits formed early in life are likely to last throughout. Perhaps the best way to teach children the value of fitness is by example: kids who grow up in households with inactive adults are likely to be the same, and one of the biggest fitness motivators for any age is having physically active role models. Parents take note: by staying active you're not only keeping yourself fit and healthy, you're helping your kids live healthier, too.

EXTRA INNINGS: ACTIVITY AND AGING DO MIX

It's now clear that regular physical activity can help you live longer and improve your quality of life as you age. And it doesn't need to be strenuous to improve health; moderate-intensity physical activity performed over the course of the day can offer significant health benefits for people of all ages. Activities like walking may be the safest types of exercise for older or previously inactive people, because they put less stress on muscles and joints.


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