Fit and Fabulous

In Part 2 (?Fit + Fabulous?) of their book The Black Woman?s Guide to Healthy Living (Time Inc. Home Entertainment, 2008), the editors of Essence magazine present top fitness strategies for women in their 20s, 30s 40s, and in their 50s and beyond. ?No matter how many candles are on your birthday cake, experts recommend vigorous exercise 30 minutes a day at least six days a week ? and admit even three days of 20 minutes is worthwhile,? the editors write.

And no matter what your age, they note, the components of keeping fit are strength, endurance and flexibility. ?Alternating strength, aerobic and flexibility workouts ? also known as cross-training ? not only improves your overall fitness, but also helps you reduce the risk of injury because you avoid stressing the same muscles and joints each day.?

The chapter includes the following workout chart, based on recommendations by fitness experts interviewed for the book. Readers are urged to consult a doctor before they begin a new regime and include ?gentle warm-up and cool-down stretches? in their workout.