Never too late: getting fit in your 50s and beyond

(Newscom/Blend Images/Ariel Skelley)

Chicago — Even in your 50s, 60s and beyond -- even if you are seriously overweight, have already developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes; even if you've indulged in a steady diet of bad habits or have never set foot in a gym or walked farther than where you parked your car, it's not too late.

With regular exercise, such as dancing, swimming or hitting the gym, you can still become stronger, healthier and more energetic while slowing the effects of aging.

Sharon Conte of Chicago is living proof that it's never too late to change. At the age of 58, she was overweight, had high cholesterol and hypertension, and had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and Graves' disease.

"I did not know how out of shape I had become," she said. "I was depressed and always hurting somewhere." In March 2013, she decided to change all that. But like many who are new to physical activity, it was hard to know where to start.

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