Exercise really can add years on to your life. If you have read through this site, you will see my emphasis on diet and how this plays an important part of your life.
What you eat can set you on the road to health and vitality. In order to go the next step, you must add in some exercise.
Everyone has to start somewhere. To get the years added onto your life, you can begin with 3 easy home exercises that will work to strengthen your body and build your endurance.
1. Rebounding. This is my all-time favorite, no matter what your fitness or health level. I first read about rebounding with patients who had cancer. The more I read, the more I began to understand that rebounding was the most simple and health generating exercise a child, the elderly, sick, and even strong, healthy exercise buffs should be doing.
You can purchase a very inexpensive mini-trampoline online or at fitness super stores. Once you have your rebounder, begin by gently bouncing up and down for as long as you can. Shoot for 5 minutes to start. If you have knee problems or have a problem where you cannot jump, bounce on the balls of your feet, never lifting your feet off the trampoline.
Every 3rd day, increase the amount of time you are rebounding each day by 3-5 minutes.
Rebounding moves your lymphatic system which often becomes stagnant as we age, leading to a whole host of health problems. The NASA program additionally found that the bouncing mechanism increased bone density in your body, preserving your bone structure over time.
2. Yoga. Yoga by far is my favorite exercise routine. It can be done by anyone, and all the positions can be modified if you are a beginner, are overweight, have injuries or are pregnant.
Yoga will build your core strength, which we lose as we get older. Building your core will also help to hold your organs in place and can even lift organs that have already dropped. This is especially important to women who have had children. If I had to choose 1 pose that ranks above the rest in building core strength, it would be the plank position.
- You begin in a crawling position on your hands and knees.
- Slowly you will stretch out one leg in back of you and then the other leg. You will look like you have just completed a push up.
- On the balls of your feet, you will hold this position for as long as you can.
- Be careful not to let your back sway and your stomach drop towards the floor.
- Practice this position 2-3 times during the day. The longer you hold the pose, the stronger you are becoming.
3. Squats. These are not as dreaded as they sound. As people age, their lower back naturally becomes weak and they begin to lose spine strength and integrity as the muscles become lazy. You can do squats in front of the tv, or every time you exit a room. Make a habit of doing 5-10 squats each time.
To do the perfect squat, follow these directions:
- Tilt your tailbone out, squat down squarely over your heels and keep your body as straight as possible.
- Do an internal squeeze of the muscle between your stomach and upper thighs.
- Keep your upper back tight while you are keeping your tailbone out with chest and shoulder blades lifted and tight.
- You can move up and down in a squat position every second so you are moving at a fairly quick pace.