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Denise Austin is comfortable using the term anti-aging as she continues strategies for health and fitness that she began at age 25. She told totalhealth that from the research she has done, “Aging is 30 percent hereditary and 70 percent life style. Isn’t it wonderful that we have some control over our aging process?”

“You can turn back the clock,” she says, through exercise and healthy eating, agreeing that “exercise is the ultimate anti-aging pill.”

Both men and women have control over the aging mechanism. For men the biggest danger is developing fat areas around the abdominal areas close to the heart. Says Austin, “What I really promote is good abdominal strength because it is the core of your whole body. If you can keep your abs strong, then most often the rest of your body stays fit.”

The other aspect that Austin emphasized was good posture, asking men and women to “pull in your abs and stand up straight.” Her new video “Anti-aging Baby Boomers Workout” shows people how to target the areas where time and gravity have taken their toll: waistline, hips and thighs. It is a fat-burning workout that is beneficial to men and women of all ages, but particularly America’s largest demographic group born between 1946 and 1963.

The entire 45-minute workout program in three-sections is performed to a live band playing musical hits including “Good Vibrations, Happy Together” and “Joy to The World.” The video begins with a 20-minute aerobic workout geared to help energize the circulation. The second section is 15 minutes of what she calls lifting exercises to tone muscles in some of the danger zones like the abs, the waistline, the buttocks and the upper back. Finally, she ends with a 10-minute series of stretches, which she calls age-erasing exercises. “I put my Mom on this program and within six weeks she lost 10 pounds and her blood pressure went down. She is 72. She could do the whole workout after the first few times; working at it little by little can make a difference.”

Austin has a show scheduled on the Lifetime network about yoga and stretching with relaxation techniques and anti-aging tips. It starts in January 1999 and is called “Fit for Life”. “I am also going to be doing a whole segment about spirituality, self-worth and attitude,” explains Austin. The shows will be taped at sparkling spas around the world.

She sums it up: “Exercise, eating well and attitude—that’s what makes you young, and that’s what will give you the sense of fighting the aging process.”

“Strive for five” is a phrase that fit-and-trim Austin has added to her life style as she gets older. Strive for five portions of vegetables and fruit a day (two of one, three of the other, in any combination you like, every day). She is also taking a multi-vitamin with minerals and vitamin E and folic acid to support her anti-aging efforts. “I try to make even my snacks a fruit or a vegetable for true value, whereas I used to eat pretzels or something else.”

Austin eats a regular diet of three “real” meals and two snacks, “I’m not a vegetarian but I eat a very well-balanced diet and every time I eat anything I ask myself if it is good for my health or not. That helps me eat better and most of the time I eat in moderation.”

Austin’s husband, Jeff, is a tennis player, sports attorney and the older brother of tennis star Tracy Austin. She says she and Jeff make a point of spending the morning workout together before their two daughters wake up. “We try to do that at least three mornings a week. It gets us going and makes us feel good. And then on two mornings a week I do weight training. On the weekends we do something active for the whole family. Now that our girls are a little older we go bike riding or take nice long walks.”

Total Health