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Resources for Staying Well, Active and Fit

iStock_000006142353XSmallUse it or lose it. Scientific research and personal experience are daily confirming the wisdom of this old saying. Get going with these sites.

Get Up. Get out. That's the motto of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. This site has fitness and exercise information appropriate for persons of different ages and conditioning. The publications page provides links to several good guides on developing your own fitness program and appropriate nutrition plan.

The American College of Sports Medicine's Active Aging Partnership's website offers Active Aging Tips. These include tips such as five easy steps to beginning strength exercises, five easy steps to begin endurance exercise, and three ways to test your fitness. Also included are links to active aging tips from partner organizations.

Okay, if you can get beyond that word "seniors" (we gritted our teeth), the Exercise for Seniors page from MedlinePlus is a gold mine of news and information on fitness and the health benefits of staying physically active. The site offers news, overviews, and links to good exercise information and programs (including the use of exercise in management of specific health conditions such as arthritis and heart disease).

If you want to do just one thing to help maintain your weight and promote cardiovascular fitness, then get out and walk. Hundreds of research studies show that this easily accessible, low impact activity works for almost everyone. And walking fits guidelines for endurance exercise such as those developed by the American College of Sports Medicine and other organizations.

Walking can also be fun—and social: check out the walking links in the Activities section of this guide. If you'd like to walk to build fitness, maybe even crosstrain (walk, jog, hike, swim or bike) so you could do a minitriathlon, and would like a program, you can Walk with Remar Sutton, one of Money Matters's spokespersons. The event described on the site is long over, but the training calendars are fun and effective any time; they are based on the programs developed by Dr. James M. Rippe, often called the Father of American Fitness Walking.

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