Sometimes the best way to start a fitness routine is to simply start. Don’t let the well-known mantra of “No pain, no gain” preached by some extreme gym goers or marathon runners scare you away from adopting a healthy, doable, practical 30 minute per day total body fitness routine. It is not necessary to go hard core at the gym for hours everyday to maintain a healthy body weight and body fat percentage, reduce back pain, keep your heart and lungs healthy, reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, lower stress and improve your overall mood. In fact the chemical reactions in the body that occur during and after extreme exercise routines produce oxidative toxins that can damage DNA and accelerate aging if your body isn’t given the adequate support to detoxify. Prolonged intense exercise increases the stress on the body and stress accelerates biological aging. It’s not uncommon to see a muscle bound athlete who is super lean and strong but their skin or nervous system are both a mess and they look and feel older than their actual age. If you exercise two hours a day just because you love the endorphins, be prepared to balance your protein intake with an abundance of dark leafy greens, a full spectrum of antioxidant rich veggies and anti-inflammatory rich omega 3 EFA’s. Eating nutrient, phytonutrient and antioxidant–rich foods are an absolute must to help offset the oxidative damage. The truth is, the more fit you get, the cleaner you have to eat to fuel the athlete within. Go for quality over quantity. Properly-designed workouts that get your heart rate up and strengthen all your major muscles can be done in as little as 30 minutes per day and are more health building than fanatical exercise regimens that are physically draining or require every minute of your free time. The longer you exercise, the more you have to pace yourself and the less intense the overall workout session becomes. If you want to get fitter and firmer faster, choose quality over quantity when it comes to food and go with a full body intense workout session that is shorter in length. Looking fit and actually being healthy are two entirely different things. Your lifestyle and exercise habits play a major role in cell regeneration. You renew about one percent of the cells in your body everyday, for better or worse. You help those new cells become either stronger and younger or weaker and older based on your lifestyle so I encourage you to adopt the less is more mindset and celebrate your renewed vitality! Go for it! Get in the game!