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Fitness Glossary

Fit Forever!

Fit Forever!

You might feel left out in this world if you don't use phrases like "Dude, let's hang!" or talk intelligently on whether Moby's latest CD is better than Radiohead's. Add a little thinning hair, stir in a few wrinkles, add a pinch of potbelly, and presto! You're OLD! Before you turn in your treadmill for a walker, know that there are ways to beat the 20-somethings at their own game. You can look 10 years younger, feel 15 years younger, and impress the young bucks at the company softball game. How? Dude, let's hang:

Gym Rejuvenation

If you don't know that regular exercise will help keep you fit, feeling energetic, and looking young, you've been living in a cave.
"To prevent burnout and make your workout smoother, always work your larger muscles first, such as with chest and back exercises," says Tomas Garcia, a personal trainer in Pheonix, Ariz. "Save biceps, triceps and shoulders for after the major muscle groups." For low-body exercises, he suggests, work the quadriceps first, the glutes, then hamstrings and calves. He also recommends doing a cardio workout one day and strength training the next, rather than both in a day.

Don't Overtrain

If you find yourself pushing hard through workouts on a regular basis, feeling fatigued on non-workout days, and having a lot of aches and pains, give yourself a rest.
"Exercising appropriately and getting enough sleep every night will take you 50 percent there in looking and feeling younger," says Garcia.

Food Fuel

You can boost your energy by jacking up the levels of carbohydrates and protein in your diet, and reducing the sugar, salt and caffeine. "Changing your diet can help you build muscle faster, and it will also give you more energy," says Garcia.
You can improve your workday simply by having an ample breakfast with a combination of protein and carbohydrate. "This will give you a boost of energy all morning," says Garcia. "You won't be slumped over your desk, gulping coffee, trying to wake up. Plus, you'll be able to ward off the workplace doughnuts."
Keep the work energy flowing by having a carb-boosting mid-morning snack. A piece of fruit, such as an apple ar banana, is a great choice, or for convenience, you could have a low-fat energy bar.
Two other important factors are to eat more raw fruits and vegetables, and eating enough fiber. Telling everyone about your constant need for laxatives just isn't cool.

Skin Savers

The touted eight glasses of water a day is more than just good advise. It can help you look and feel younger. "Drink the right amount of water, even if you're thirsty," says Garcia. "It will help your workout, your skin, and elimination. Water helps clean out your system."
Since the body is mostly water, even slight, non-dangerous dehydration can be evident in dryer skin, less elasticity to the face, and it can fatigue you. While you're at it, protect your skin with sunscreen all the time. Sun damage is a primary cause of someone appearing older than they are. If you must have a tan, try the new bronzing gels. Many of them look natural.

Supper Sex

Now is the time to break the pattern of it's-the-weekend-let's-have-sex, or doing it in the same old position. try new sex positions with your partner. Incorporate massage or more foreplay into your sex life. Try sex during a different time of day. Don't worry about trying to be good in bed. If you need a little erection help, ask your doctor about Viagra. There are also medications for premature ejaculation. Remember that the missionary position is the hardest one for most men to maintain an erection. Lie flat on your back, get side by side with your partner, or even try standing.

Mind Games

You've killed enough brain cells in your life, now stimulate some with ongoing brain activity. Find a magazine or book that has exercises to make you think. Regularly participating in such exercises keeps your brain sharper, studies reveal. Also, find materials that help you think more creatively. There are many books on the subject. These provide patterns to help you learn out-of-the-box thinking. You'll come up with more creative, even outlandish, ideas- the hallmark of the young whippersnapper at work who gets all the attention.

A primary factor in feeling young and confident is simply how you train your mind to think about yourself. If you get up every morning thinking how old you look, how you used to sleep through the night without having to go to the bathroom, how you could drink more alcohol and have less of a hangover, you're programming yourself to believe you're "old." Work on dismissing such thoughts as they arise, and mentally compliment yourself on everything good you do. Relax you mind, too, and help your health. Visualize your life as you want it. Meditate. Take breaks during the day to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and rest your body. "This will keep your energy levels humming," says Garcia.

Facing Facts

It might seem extreme, but it's not. And it's getting more common for men every day. If you really want to run with the pack of 20-somethings, consider cosmetic surgery. There are several affordable, discrete options. The Enlight laser was recently approved by the FDA as treatment for wrinkle reduction. This laser stimulates collagen growth (a natural process) under wrinkles, smoothing them out. A typical procedure for the average 40- something's wrinkles is $500. Since the collagen grows gradually, full results can take up to three months to see. However, this might be ideal if you don't want to immediately look like you've had cosmetic surgery. The procedure is painless, or you might feel a very light stinging, and you don't have to take time off from work. Though only approved by the FDA for wrinkle reduction, the procedure probably works for acne and other scars. Microdermabrasion is another helpful procedure that has been around for the past few years. This involves a sort of light "sanding" of the facial skin with an organic grit. There's no pain, only a light sensation as the procedure is being done. This also stimulates collagen growth, can work for wrinkles and minor scars, and has the added benefit of giving your skin a healthy glow. It requires no time off of work (you can even have the procedure done on your lunch hour) but requires repeated sessions. each session costs $70-$200 (the average is $100), and can be repeated every two weeks. For deeper wrinkles or scars, as many as 10-15 procedures might be needed.

If Rogaine spray and/or Propecia tablets aren't doing enough for your hair growth, you can also consider micrograft surgery. This newer procedure eliminates the "corn row" or "doll's hair" appearance of older procedures. Follicles o hair are taken from a strip along the back of your head (where the temporary scar can be covered by hair after surgery), separated, and re-planted in the thin area. Because hair along the back and sides of your head doesn't fall out, and because the hair roots are individualized, the look is terrific. It can take about three months for the new hairs to take root and truly look good, and you can't work the day of the procedure. The doctor might prescribe a pain pill to deal with discomfort after the topical anethesia wears off. The operation costs about $2,000-$4,000, and many men say it's worth every penny. By paying attention to all these areas, you can feel, act, and look younger, sometimes by many years. Let them be astonished when you tell them the truth about what birthday it is (if you want to tell the truth) and let them be envious at how you did it.

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