by Milissa Scott
If you are like most women over age 50, you feel like your body has turned against you. Your hands feel weak, your brain feels foggy, your energy level is low, and sometimes you feel unsteady on your feet. You know that you need to be more active, to exercise more. But oh my goodness, where to start? A “big-box” fitness center is uncomfortable and intimidating, and options like boot camp, Zumba or cross training are completely out of the question. Don’t feel bad; I can assure you that you are not alone.
I have great news! There are many excellent exercises that you can do without ever leaving your home. These are exercises that focus on the three important keys to feeling great at any age: strength, balance and flexibility. They are easy to do, and they will help you feel stronger, younger and boost your energy.
Sit Down Squats
This exercise requires a sturdy chair. Sit comfortably on the end of a chair. Stand up without assistance from your hands. Once you are standing, pause and take a deep breath before carefully sitting back down. Repeat 5-10 times.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing. Stretch your arms up to the ceiling, gently at first and then more quickly as you do more repetitions. Repeat 3-5 times.
Start from a standing position. Bend over at your waist and let your body pull you down into a nice, relaxed stretch. Carefully straighten your back to your original starting position. Repeat 3-5 times.
One-Leg Balance Stand
Start this exercise next to a wall or a sturdy table. Slowly lift one leg a few inches off the ground. Try to balance on the other leg for 30 seconds, using the wall or table if you need something to touch for balance. Repeat 1-3 times on each leg.
These exercises are a great way to begin your new commitment to being more active and improving your health. Perform all of these exercises every other day for one week. Don’t push yourself beyond your comfort level, especially if you are by yourself. And if you feel pain while exercising, STOP! Exercise should not be painful.
Remember that you don’t have to go it alone. There are experienced fitness instructors who specialize in senior exercise. They can keep you motivated and make sure you are progressing at the right pace for your fitness level. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Milissa Scott is a certified fitness and weight-loss trainer in San Antonio who has more than 20 years of experience, including more than 10 years working exclusively with mature women. She co-owns Ladies Only In-Home Fitness. To learn more, visit www.ladiesathomefitness.com or call 210-774-6362.