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Madonna's Fitness After 50

What it takes to be as fit as Madonna is at 53.

Q: What about diet? What nutrition tips would you give? Other tips?

A: I tell people, try to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible: fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein. They are going to need complex carbohydrates [such as whole-grain breads and cereals] for long-term energy.

I also tell them to be conscious of their daily sleep, as opposed to playing catch-up on a random Sunday. [It's not good] if your sleep is shortened and your nutrition [is] compromised.

Q: How much harder does it get to stay in shape when you're older, say 50-plus?

A: It's easier as you age if you did more in your youth. But the good news is you can still do it. It's never too late. That's not me being a cheerleader; it's scientific. [Studies] have shown gains in lean muscle tissue and production of new tissue in people... one study was in octogenarians. That should be a huge banner of encouragement.

Q: Are older people more capable of getting and staying fit than they think?

A: Not only are people more capable than they think they are, but your body is way more able than you think it is.

Q: How hard can older people push themselves?

A: The smarter you are about exercise, the harder you can push. It's a mindset.

Don't always go for a record. Don't neglect your warm-up. Remember that your warm-up is your friend. I'd rather have you shave 10 minutes off your workout time and put it toward the warm-up than for you to skip the warm-up and get a 10-minute longer workout, as you get older.

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Reviewed on January 31, 2012

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