Body Composition, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance and Flexibility are the five areas of fitness. Without regard to age, the individual needs to be fit in these areas. In so doing, the quality of life will be extended and aid one to age successfully with grace. An understanding of these areas will be the basis of the level of awareness of aging well.

Body Composition
It is the weight that an individual is comfortable given his lifestyle needs. It is also things like excessive weight that contributes to elevated blood sugars, lack of energy, cardiovascular risks, osteoarthritis, and other increased body fat health issues.

It is also being at a body fat that is considered within normal range. This will vary but typically men should look at a range from 10% to 18% depending on age and the needs of his lifestyle should consider 18% to 26%. For a woman it should be anywhere from 15% to 24%.

Muscular Strength
It is defined as the number that the upper body can lift for one repetition as well as the lower body. The individual should not try this one rep maximum especially if your training is very limited. Additional rules apply depending on the age of the person.

Muscular Endurance
It is the number of times that the upper body can lift in one minute and the number of times that the lower body can lift in one minute. This is a great way to see where you are at strength wise.

Cardiovascular Endurance
It is endurance in exercising for 20 to 30 minutes 4 days a week, a heart rate (HR) at minimum of 70%. The formula is 220 minus your age times .70 will equal your heart rate minimum. An example of this is a 71 year old man at 70% is 104 beats per minute while exercising the heart. Those on beta blockers should not use the formula. They consult their doctor on exertion levels. The exercise must entail the use of leg muscles and must be continuous to be considered cardiovascular in nature. Examples of this are walking, biking, stair climbing, jogging, elliptical trainer, and cross country skiing.

Flexibility
It is the range of motion in such areas as the hamstring (back of legs), upper and lower areas, shoulders, hips , neck and quadriceps (front of thighs).

To age successfully one must be consistent in the physical, social and intellectual activities of life. To live an active aging lifestyle is easy but it will require advanced planning. It is suggested to use the calendar to schedule outings. It will serve as a visual reminder to stimulate drive for activity.

Exercise and physical activities are good for maintaining cognitive skills and reducing the risk of dementia. It is not meant that a person should run a marathon or doing long workouts in the gym. Being physically active would mean completing household chores, taking a walk or shooting basketballs with the neighborhood kids albeit in a short time only. If the preference is going to the gym, pick the one that fits your interest. The general idea is not to be stagnant.

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