Follow the program outlined here six days a week. Progress to the next level only after you're very comfortable with the current one.

Level one: Work your way (at your own pace) up to 45 minutes of aerobic (heart-pumping) exercise without discomfort. Get your heart rate up to 60% to 65o/o of your maximum heart rate (approximately 220 minus your age) and try to keep it there for, say, a 45-minute bike ride or hike at a pace where you're still able to have a conversation.

If you stay at level one forever, that's OK you'll still be fitter than most people and fit enough to feel younger than you are.

Level two: Do aerobic exercise for 45 minutes four days a week...45 minutes of weight training two days a week.

Caution: Get help from a trainer (available at most gyms) until you know what you're doing in the weight room.

Level three: Do aerobic exercise for 45 minutes one or two days a week. Do more intense aerobic exercise-reaching 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate-on your remaining days of aerobic activity (a total of four days a week). Do weight training two days a week. One day a month, take a two-hour hike, a three-hour bike ride or an equivalent exercise that's fun.

Caution: Check with your health-care provider before attempting any new exercise program. if you keep working to stay fit, your body will go along.

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