When it comes to physical fitness, especially strength training, it is never too late to start. The importance of keeping the body strong and flexible while doing any physical activity is highly important especially as we age.* Here are some exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere that do not require a gym.
Planks-This exercise targets the abdominal muscles and is a very effective core workout. Lie on your front on the floor. Place your forearms on the ground, with elbows directly under your shoulders. Place your feet hip-width apart with your toes tucked. Lift your body off the floor. Contract your glute and ab muscles, and get your lower back as flat as possible. Make sure your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles create one straight line. Lastly, pull your elbows toward your toes as hard as you can.*
Bird Dog-This is a fantastic exercise to help strengthen your back and core muscles. Start on all fours, with knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Brace your abdominal muscles. In a controlled motion, lift your right arm and left leg off of the floor, straightening both so they’re in line with your torso. Ensure your lower back doesn’t arch, and there’s no excessive motion in your hips. Return to the start position and switch sides. Aim for 10 slow repetitions on each side.*
Bent over row-This exercise helps to maintain good posture, as well as targeting the upper back muscles. Holding two dumbbells, bend your knees slightly and bend over, sending your hips behind you and bringing your back parallel to the floor. Brace your core muscles and extend your arms toward the floor. Use your upper back muscles to pull the weights toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to the start position with arms extended, and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.*
These three exercises can help serve as an important foundation that you can build upon when it comes to meeting and eventually surpassing your strength training goals. As always, please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet and exercise regimen.