Some experts might say there are but four keys to fitness:



Balance, and


Each requires different fitness behaviors, and concentrating on each one can improve your overall level of fitness and excitement about it.

Endurance builds your energy and “staying power.” It results from exercise that makes you breathe hard, like aerobic activity.

Strength comes from working out your muscles.

Image by Indira Andrade from Pixabay

Balance training can help prevent you from falling—standing on one foot, getting up from a chair without your hands or arms, or simply walking heel to toe help train your brain to balance. This kind of activity is especially important for older individuals.

Flexibility is what you gain from regular light stretching exercises.

Poor sleep makes you cranky and adversely affects your energy level and concentration, but it may also increase your risk of heart disease. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that more sleep leads to reduced coronary artery calcification (a predictor of future heart disease), with every extra hour of sleep lowering the odds of calcification by about 33 percent

Keeping mentally fit isn’t much different from staying in shape – it’s really just about lifestyle. If you already work out regularly, congratulations – 25 percent of the blood pumping through your body is delivering performance- enhancing oxygen to your brain as you exercise.

Eating healthy foods – in moderation is also important. Start by cutting the fat. Cholesterol buildup can reduce the oxygen supply to your brain by almost 20 percent over time. Load up on foods rich in antioxidants, such as strawberries or red beans, to nurture brain cell health. Add fish to reduce age related brain inflammation, increase memory, and help your brain send and receive messages efficiently. Consume leafy green veggies rich in folate to enhance brain processing; leafy greens may also play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s. Finally, shape up underused areas of your brain by “cross training” your mind with new and different mental challenges.

What you eat can significantly affect your mood. For breakfast, try oatmeal or eggs. Both contain an amino acid that helps boost the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. As for the blueberries, save those for lunch. The antioxidants in them will ward off workday stress. Finish with a small piece of chocolate. The compounds in it will lift your mood, while a natural stimulant gives you a small energy kick. For dinner, boost your serotonin again with a piece of salmon. Add a side of spinach to increase folate levels and help beat depression. Try healthy snacks in between meals when you become irritable or unfocused. This will keep blood sugar levels steady and prevent you from crashing during the day.

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