Do you want to feel forever young? For centuries, we’ve been trying to turn back the hands of time by lathering up on lotions, lasering away fine lines, and injecting face-freezing serums. And although these products may provide a temporary fix, they are only skin deep.
If you want to look younger, you must first practice healthy habits that help you feel youthful. By engaging in specific exercises that focus on functional movement patterns, flexibility, balance, and skeletal strengthening, you can reverse prominent signs of aging such as poor posture and a frail physique.
Boost the quality and quantity of years by implementing the following activities into your weekly workout:
Planks. This isometric exercise strengthens the core muscles responsible for supporting and stabilizing the spine and hips. If you’re in the habit of hunching or need a posture pick-me-up, planks are an ideal strength training move for you.
Progression: Add time to the duration of your plank, or work your core muscles harder by lifting your limbs, one at a time. For example, lift your left arm for a count, then lower, followed by raising your right leg then returning to the start position. Avoid rocking at your hips.
Wall angels. By pressing our back against a wall, you can distinguish any postural imbalances, such as a craned neck, overly arched back, or winged shoulder blades. If your upper back, butt, shoulders, and head do not rest flush against the wall, this is an area worth fixing.
Progression: Once you’ve perfected your posture, increase the challenge by performing the movement with a set of light free weights.
Sit-to-stand. Knowing how to stand from a seated position sounds easy, but it may surprise you to learn that there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Many of us will use our upper body for momentum, rather than pushing through our leg muscles. Over time, this seemingly harmless habit can cause imbalances throughout your body.
Progression: To increase the challenge, try it from a lower seated chair.
Single-leg stand. Once you have conquered the sit-to-stand exercise, try it with one leg. By shifting your center of gravity, your weight-bearing leg has an opportunity to grow stronger. This is ideal for powering up for everyday activities such as walking and stair climbing that require single leg strength, as well as improving balance. It also helps to identify any muscular imbalances that have developed from favoring one side over the other.
Progression: Rather than lowering the leg at the top of the exercise, keep it elevated as you hinge back at the hips to sit back down.