HEALTHY LIVING 2008 -- 40s: Staying healthy in your 40s - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Health

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HEALTHY LIVING 2008 -- 40s: Staying healthy in your 40s

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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2008 12:00 am

As a 42-year-old mom of three girls, including a toddler, I manage to keep healthy by exercising regularly, eating well and making sure I get plenty of rest. For me, I find that I stick to an exercise regimen if I'm training for some sort of race. I've raced in some 5Ks, a few short triathlons and, most recently, the P.F. Chang's half-marathon. This year I just committed to a half-Ironman triathlon in July. I've found an enormous support network and a great group of friends through my training. It's much easier to roll out of bed at 4:30 a.m. if I know I have a partner or group to meet. It's healthy peer pressure. I'm home by 6:30 a.m., just as the kids are getting up fully charged for the busy morning before the kids head off to school. A few days a week I meet a group of friends to swim for an hour at the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA and my toddler is able to play in the childcare area for up to two hours. When it was time to shed the baby weight from my child's birth, I did so by exercising and eating healthy. I never talked about dieting with my older girls. I wanted them to see that if you make healthy food choices and exercise regularly that I would easily get back to my pre-baby figure. I did find, though I needed to exercise a little harder and longer to shed the weight at 40 than I did at 30, I did so successfully. Our family makes a point of trying to eat lean protein, vegetables and we also include healthy grains. We're not perfect. We also like cookies, ice cream, In-N-Out Burger and pizza, but we have those in moderation. I know I feel better when I've slept for at least eight hours a night, so I make a point of getting to bed early. I will leave chores for the next day instead of staying up late to get them done. Ironically, I'm in better shape now than I ever have been. I feel happy and full of energy. I attribute the way I feel to the lifestyle choices I make each day. Maggie Penman is a 42-year-old mother of three girls. She believes in balance and setting a good example for her daughters, ages 12, 11, and 20 months.

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