One of the most frequent reasons people call me for help with their fitness conditioning is that they want to "get on the floor and play with their grandchildren" and then...get up again, without help.
Here's some research that might get your attention...A team of Brazilian researchers created the Sit-down-Stand-up test to predict your life span.
Now, I know you have been sitting and standing since you were a toddler, but when's the last time you did this test*
"The test is simple to grasp if not do: Just sit on the floor from a standing position without using your hands, arms, or knees to slow your descent. Then stand back up—without using your hands, arms, or knees to help boost you back up, if possible. (Hint: Crossing your legs on the way down and the way up seems to help, and loosely holding your arms out to your sides can help with balance.)
In the Brazilian study, 2002 men and women ages 51 to 80 were followed for an average of 6.3 years, and those who needed to use both hands and knees to get up and down (whether they were middle-aged or elderly) were almost seven times more likely to die within six years than those who could spring up and down without support. Their musculoskeletal fitness, as measured by the test, was lacking. And musculoskeletal fitness, it turns out, is very important.
If you can't do this activity, your health and longevity may be at risk."
All is not lost, of course! Here are three exercises that you can grow into that will contribute to a strong, flexible and balanced body.
Did you know that for many 80-90 year olds, getting out of a chair takes most of their strength? Evade a lot of that by adding these exercises to your routine.
All three have many variations - including those for the newbie exerciser and peak performance athlete, so no excuses!
1. Squats- Squats are functional movements that replicate many activities that we do, and want to continue to do for a long time, like getting on the floor and playing with your grandkids.
2. Push Up- This is the one exercises women, in particular, avoid. Why? It's hard to manage your body weight. That's the exactly the reason you need to do them! If you want to be self sufficient as you age (putting your groceries away on the top shelf comes to mind), do some sort of push up movements.
3. Superman stretches. You've seen these exercises. Lying on your stomach, legs and arms out, do a swimming type motion, expanding your chest and back as you lengthen your limbs. All good!
Need help putting your program together? I'm here for you!
* (reported in January 2016 Prevention Magazine):