Getting and staying fit is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing, no matter your age. Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey, getting back into a routine after a period of inactivity, or a dedicated athlete who has prioritized an active lifestyle for years, making exercise a regular part of your life can pay dividends mentally and physically.

Getting Started or Back on Track

The Importance of Fitness for Young Adults

For those in their late teens, 20s and 30s, establishing consistent fitness habits early can quite literally shape the future course of your health. Not only does regular physical activity help control weight, increase energy levels, and build strength and endurance, but it can also reduce risks for chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers much later in life.

The best approach for young adults is to find a blend of cardiovascular exercise and strength training that works for your lifestyle. Going for runs, bike rides or hikes, swimming laps, or playing recreational sports like basketball or soccer are all excellent ways to raise your heart rate. Hitting the gym for weight lifting 2-3 times per week can promote muscle growth and bone density. Or look into group fitness classes like cycling, bootcamp, yoga or dance cardio for a fun, social way to work up a sweat.

Reprioritizing Fitness After Time Away

Life happens and sometimes other priorities like careers and family obligations can take precedence over exercise for an extended period of time. But it’s never too late to get active again and experience the physical and mental health rewards.

If you’ve fallen out of an exercise routine, don’t be discouraged—start slow by simply incorporating more movement into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for short walks during breaks at work, or park further away from building entrances. Ease back into it with low-impact activities like walking, swimming or using the elliptical machine until you build up more stamina. Gradually increase time and intensity from there. 

Having a workout partner can also provide great motivation and accountability. Invite a spouse, friend or co-worker to join you for walks, hikes or exercise classes a few times a week. Group fitness can be more fun and engaging than going it alone.

For those who fall into either of the above categories—you’re new to fitness or returning after a break, it’s essential to build a strong foundation. Consider these key elements:

1. Multivitamins: A comprehensive multivitamin like The Big One can provide key nutrients at optimal levels, offering a solid framework for further individualized supplementation. It delivers activated B vitamins, trace minerals, and foundational amounts of antioxidants.

2. Omega-3s: These essential fatty acids support cardiovascular health, cognitive function, joint health, and can even enhance exercise performance. Look for supplements containing both EPA and DHA, the most biologically active forms of omega-3s. OrthOmega is a good option.

3. Electrolytes: Proper hydration is crucial for exercise performance and recovery. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium help promote optimal hydration by acting like shuttles to get water into cells. This is especially important after excessive sweating. Try LMNT Recharge or BrainWater.

4. Hydration Tips: 

  • Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily
  • Add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of planned workout
  • Carry a reusable water bottle and drink throughout the day
  • Add lemon, berries, or cucumber to infuse flavor
  • Make it a goal to drink a glass of water before each meal

Optimization for the Dedicated Athlete and Fitness Enthusiast

Those who have been passionate about athletic pursuits and exercise for many years understand the commitment required and benefits experienced from sticking to a consistent training regimen over the long haul. Of course, listening to your body’s needs becomes increasingly important as we get older. Allowing for adequate recovery, varying your workout routines, and supplementing wisely can help you continue performing at a high level while reducing injury risk.

In addition to a balanced exercise plan and proper nutrition, certain supplements can aid in workout preparation, performance and recovery for seasoned athletes.

Pre-Workout & Performance

1. Creatine: This well-researched supplement can increase lean muscle mass, improve strength, and aid in recovery. It works by regenerating cells’ energy stores during high-intensity activity. Consider a loading phase of 20-25 grams daily for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 3-5 grams daily. Thorne Research makes an excellent Creatine Powder as does Designs for Health.

2. Protein: Adequate protein intake is crucial for muscle growth and recovery. Aim for 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. Protein bars and powders can help meet these needs conveniently. Suggested products: Earth Fed Muscle Whey Protein, Epic Protein (a plant-based protein). Both come in a variety of tasty flavors.

3. Nitric Oxide Boosters: Supplements like L-citrulline and beetroot can increase blood flow to muscles during exercise, potentially improving energy levels, muscle contraction, and stamina. Try NOVA Complete by NuMedica, a formulation created by former Peoples practitioner Jim Meyer, PharmD, MS, CCN.

4. Herbal Adaptogens: Herbs like Rhodiola and Eleuthero can help improve performance, stamina, and aid in recovery. They may also help regulate stress hormones and support immune function during intense training periods.

5. BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids): These can aid in muscle building, provide energy during exercise, and support exercise recovery. They may help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after intense workouts. Try DFH Amino Acid Complete Powder/Caps (only available in store).

Recovery & Joint Support

1. Magnesium: This mineral is crucial for exercise performance and recovery. It helps relax muscles, promotes better sleep, and supports overall cardiovascular health. Consider magnesium-rich foods or supplements, especially if you’re prone to muscle cramps or poor sleep. Peoples carries a wide variety of 

Magnesium supplements. Try Magnesium Glycinate Complex by Designs for Health (only available in store).

2. Tart Cherry: Rich in polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, tart cherry extract or juice can enhance workout recovery and potentially improve sleep quality. Suggested products: Premier Research Lab Cherry Elixade (only available in store) and Tart Cherry with CherryPure.

3. Curcumin: This compound from turmeric can help reduce joint stiffness, promote flexibility, and provide relief from muscle soreness. It may also protect muscles against exercise stress. Try Turiva by Orthomolecular.

4. CBD: CBD is helpful against exercise-induced inflammation and can support joint mobility and aid in muscle recovery. Peoples has one of the best selections of high-quality CBD products around. Recovery Gummies are especially good for post-workout recovery, and if you like a topical cream to rub into tired muscles, try Pain Relief Penetrating Cream

5. Joint Support Supplements: Products containing ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin can support joint structure and function, especially for those engaged in high-impact activities. Try: Xymogen SynoVx Recovery or DFH Arthrosoothe (only available in store).

Getting Lean

For many fitness enthusiasts, achieving and maintaining a lean physique is a primary goal. While a balanced diet and regular exercise are the cornerstones of any weight management plan, certain supplements can provide additional support. These supplements may help boost metabolism, control appetite, and optimize body composition when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. If weight management is a goal for you, consider these supplements and strategies

Supplements to Support Healthy Weight

1. Green Tea Extract: Rich in polyphenols, particularly EGCG, green tea extract can support metabolic function and help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

2. Berberine: This plant-derived supplement may help support optimal blood sugar and insulin metabolism, which can be beneficial for weight management.

3. Thermo-EFx: This type of supplement can promote healthy body composition and increased resting metabolic rate, supporting weight management efforts. Available in store only.

Practical Tips for Weight Management

  1.    Choose healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, olive oil)
  2.    Include protein with meals and snacks
  3.    Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night
  4.    Track your food intake
  5.    Reduce stress
  6.    Move your body 4-5 days per week
  7.    Cook meals at home
  8.    Avoid added sugars

Remember, while supplements can support your fitness journey, they should complement a balanced diet and consistent exercise routine, not replace them. Always consult with your doctor or a Peoples Wellness Specialist before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or take medications.

By tailoring your approach to your current fitness level and goals, and incorporating appropriate nutrition and supplementation strategies, you can optimize your fitness journey at any stage of life. The key is consistency, patience, and listening to your body as you progress towards your health and wellness objectives.

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