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Take steps before starting workouts

Finding the right gym or beginning a training regimen can be confusing, if not intimidating, for older people who have not worked out regularly.

A good idea is to start with an assessment and lesson from a personal trainer.

A small but increasing number of trainers are middle-aged or older; if you think they’ll understand your goals and limitations better, don’t be shy about seeking one out.

Here are some resources for older people interested in beginning an exercise program. As always, consult your physician.

•Go4Life: This National Institute on Aging campaign is devoted to fitness for people over 50 (go4life.nia.nih.gov).

•American Council on Exercise: This nonprofit organization certifies trainers and offers a list of trainers by location. It also offers exercises for older folks and answers to frequently asked questions about seniors and fitness (www.acefitness.org/acefit).

•AARP: General health and fitness information from the nation’s largest advocacy group for people 50 and older ( www.aarp.org).

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