5 simple moves to keep your body fit and injury-free for life
The Secret to Staying Young
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The benefits of regular exercise are too many count. And while short-term goals like weight loss and muscle definition are perfectly valid reasons to work out, they often overshadow some significant long-term benefits of a regular gym routine. Research shows that exercise can be a powerful force in preventing a slew of health conditions, including osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Age-related declines in muscle and bone mass can lead to frailty and fracture, making it much harder to be an independent older adult. The good news is there's a proven prevention strategy: strength training. And a little goes a long way! Research shows that two or three 30-minute sessions per week can provide you with the bone density you need to prevent osteoporosis.
This simple plan targets every major muscle group and challenges your agility to help you stay swift and strong for years to come. Two or three days a week, do 3 sets of each exercise, focusing on form rather than speed. And don't forget to fit aerobic exercise into your weekly routine for added cardiovascular benefits.
Squat with Biceps Curl
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Grab a pair of dumbbells (of challenging weight) and stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the weights by your sides. Bend your knees, shift your hips back, and lower down until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
Press through your heels to return to standing, and then immediately curl the weights up toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows glued to sides during the movement. Do 10 reps.
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Come into a straight-arm plank with your wrists directly below your shoulders, feet hip-width apart. Turn your fingers slightly inward to protect your shoulders. Bend your elbows to lower your body until you're hovering above the ground. Press back up into a straight-arm plank, keeping your legs engaged the entire time. Do 10 reps.
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Reps: 10 per side
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand facing a box, step, or bench. Place your left foot on top of the box, step, or bench, and press through the ball of your big toe to come all the way up to standing on top of the bench. Make sure you keep your chest lifted as you step up. Bend your left knee to slowly lower back down to the floor. Do 10 reps on each side.
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Place your hands on top of a bench or step and come into a straight-arm plank with your hands directly below your shoulders, feet hip-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Draw your belly button up and in while keeping your legs and butt engaged. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
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Stand to the left side of a circular ring (or just imagine there's one on the floor next to you). Step your right foot inside the circle and then bring your left foot in to meet it. Repeat the same side step to move both feet outside the circle (the circle should now be on your right side). Immediately repeat the pattern on the other side, stepping your left foot inside the circle first. Once you have the pattern down, increase your speed. Try to do the footwork as fast as possible for 30 seconds.