Greetings! The purpose of this article is primarily to offer help to the hundreds of thousands of people who struggle with weight and fitness issues after the age of 40. As we all know, it certainly doesn’t get easier to stay in shape after 40. The body goes through some significant changes in this period of our lives and we find limitations where there were none previously; we find weaknesses we weren’t aware of previously; and…yes…we find pounds that we used to be able to shed easily but now stubbornly refuse to vanish. We all share this plight in varying degrees and we’re going to employ a very old concept here…”United we stand, divided we fall”. If we unite and share our experiences, good and bad, we will all benefit. If you’re like me, you’ve probably lost over 500 pounds over the years and I’ve been told more than once if you look behind you, you’ll find them. Not only is the extra weight unsightly, but more importantly, it is unhealthy! Hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels are only but a few of the maladies that await us as we continue to “grow” with each succeeding year.The Mission…Should You Accept ItFirst of all, let’s talk about different eating plans – we don’t want to call them “diets” because diets are so temporary. A healthy, well-balanced eating plan is vital to any weight loss / fitness goal. For this, you’ll need to stay away from “fad” diets and rely, instead, on the basic principles of good dietary nutrition. One type of eating plan is the USDA Food Pyramid and the sound nutritional advice and information contained in that pyramid. Portion control is very important with any eating plan. You can be eating the healthiest foods on the planet but if you’re eating too large a portion or too often or with the wrong foods, then these healthy foods will rapidly pile on the pounds. Weight Watchers and the South Beach Diet Plan are also other good, reliable eating plans with sound nutritional value in them.Lifestyle changes need to be made. These changes need to be developed and adhered to if you plan to reach the goal of getting fit and staying fit. These lifestyle changes should include different eating patterns and shopping habits as well as exercise changes. Things that you have tried in the past that have worked for you and things that have not–and why they haven’t worked — need to be identified and analysed for potential improvement. Most of the information available on exercise, for example, says that you only need about 30 minutes a day four to five days a week to achieve better health and fitness. This can be a simple brisk walk around the block while you walk your dog or it can be as elaborate as joining a gym and working with a fitness trainer. The most important thing to consider when deciding what exercise route to take is to make sure you’re doing something that is fun and that you will look forward to doing four or five days a week for 30 minutes. If you’re out of shape, then you’ll need to start slowly and work up to longer and more intense periods of exercise. Aerobic walking is a good activity for anyone, any age, and any level of fitness because you can start slowly and work up to a faster pace as you build your energy and endurance.So get up and get going! Start today with firm resolve to lose weight and get into better physical shape to improve your health. It’s a decision only you can make for yourself…and it’s one that you’ll be thankful that you made.