Age is no barrier when it comes to looking great. Here are some health and fitness plans to help you stay fit in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
In Your 20s — Fight Stress:
You invest when you have money, right? In your physically flush 20s, invest in your body's future as well. Sprinkling a tablespoon of ground flaxseed on your morning cereal may improve your mood. These fiber-packed seeds are the best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information, like pleasure, according to French researchers.
In Your 30s — Fight Fat:
If your 20s were the "Jersey Shore" years, your 30s are more like "The Apprentice." The stress of this shift can be overwhelming. Your body can't handle latenight McNugget binges the way it used to. One of the best ways to fight fat is to pump your diet with protein. In fact, Danish researchers found that subjects who ate a high-protein diet compared to those who slacked on the protein lost twice as much abdominal fat. Why? One reason may be that a high-protein diet helps your body control its levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that directs fat toward the belly.
In Your 40s — Fight Cancer:
The job, house, lawn, kids, Little League team, 401(k), trash, cars, hamsters. Is there anything you're not responsible for? Well, add these to the list: your mind and your body. Keep your self in check by filling your plate with leafy greens like kale. Kale is rich in vitamins, potassium, calcium, iron and folate. Plus, they have the flavonol, kaempferol, which a study by Baylor College of Medicine researchers found help stop pancreatic cancer cells from growing.
In Your 50s — Fight Heart Disease and Cholesterol:
Time slows your heartbeat, erodes your brain, dulls your skin, and steals your muscle — if you let it. Fight back with these stay-young foods: milk, macadamia nuts and bell peppers. In a yearlong study published in the American Journal of Medicine, people who took a daily 1,000-mg calcium supplement saw their HDL-cholesterol levels rise by 7 percent.