Fitness is the fountain of youth for maturing muscles. For aging adults, exercise is the key to preventing muscle atrophy, joint pain, poor posture, falls, and even diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. While years of wear and tear may create challenges in finding the right routine, there are specific exercises that should be implemented into your daily workout circuit.
Increase muscle definition and bone density while preserving joint health with the following three exercises that should be part of your everyday fitness routine.
If you spend the majority of your day seated or sedentary, hip bridges are a great tool for loosening tight hip flexors and strengthening flat, frail glutes, the largest muscle group in the human body.
- Start in a supine position with your knees bent and feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Push your hips off the floor until the body forms a straight line from the knees to shoulders.
- Hold for two count then return to the starting position. Repeat 25 times.
When it comes to squats, poor form can lead to multiple mishaps ranging from knee pain to tightness in your lower back. Opt for a chair squat to ensure that the right muscles are being targeted. Many of us use our arms to elevate our bodies from a sitting to standing position. As a result, our legs lack the ability to build the muscle strength, stability and mechanics necessary to perform basic, everyday functions like sitting and standing from a chair.
Do not underestimate the importance of a chair squat. While it may sound basic, the majority of people do not know how to properly stand from a chair. Don’t be surprised if you are slightly winded by the end of your repetitions.
- Begin by finding a sturdy chair or bench.
- Sit tall, with your core muscles engaged and your shoulders back. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
- Push through your heels to a standing position. Squeeze your glute muscles for two counts then slowly return to the seated position. Remember, don’t rely on your hands to be used for momentum. Repeat 25 times.
The bird dog exercise encourages core strength, lumbar stability and overall balance, which are important fitness factors for overall health and vitality. Note: If you have a knee replacement, consult your physician before performing this exercise.
- Position your body on your hands and knees. For support, perform this exercise on a carpeted floor; place a towel beneath your knees for added protection.
- Position your shoulders over your wrists and your hips above your knees.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and slowly extend your right arm and left leg fully until they are parallel with the floor. Your arm and leg should form a straight line from your fingers through your toes.
- Hold for five counts and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one repetition.
Muscles with a lot of miles on them require regular maintenance to run properly.
Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.