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Here’s a word of the day for you…
Do you know it? You should! It’s the real indicator of how old you are…way better than a calendar.
Telomeres are the protective regions at the ends of our chromosomes. Every time a cell replicates, a tiny bit of our telomeres gets lost, so they get shorter with age. When telomeres are shorter, we’re more likely to develop chronic diseases or even die sooner.
And while there’s no way to STOP humans from aging, there is some good news here. Exercise slows the telomere-shortening process significantly. So, just because you’re 50 years old doesn’t mean you’re biologically 50. The more physically active you are, the more biologically younger you become. In fact one BYU study recently concluded that people who exercise regularly shave 9 years off their biological age (at a cellular level) compared to those who are only occasionally active.
9 years, people!!!
I know I’m like a broken record here, but exercise really is the one and only Fountain of Youth out there. If you want to be younger, and FEEL like you did when you were younger, we’ve just GOT to make this stuff non-negotiable.
These exercises are a great place for beginners and/or seniors to start. You won’t need any equipment for these…just a wall, or an RV if you’re super cool like me. Speaking of you RVers, I’m sharing these with you in mind. You can do these anywhere, no gym required, so they’re RV-lifestyle-friendly. Just because you’re on the road…no excuse. Fitness should be your #1 priority no matter where you are or what you’re doing (or even how crappy you feel). If we wait to exercise for the ideal conditions, we’ll never exercise. There ARE no ideal conditions.
Okay off my trainer soapbox. Back to the workout. Each one of these exercises targets the core (which includes your back), and will also strengthen and stretch to help your posture and your joint range-of-motion. Try to repeat the entire workout routine 3 times through.
Stef’s “Take That, Father Time!” Get-Younger Be-Stronger Workout:
(I should probably work on that title…)
DIRECTIONS: Click on the picture for a one-page printable version of the exercise plan:
Exercise #1: Planked Lunge Taps
Place your hands on the wall with your feet as far back as you feel you can safely go. Alternate tapping one foot forward and then the other, without placing any weight on the tapping foot. Do a total of 10 taps per side.
Exercise #2: Tippy Toe Triceps Reaches
Stand sideways to your wall with the elbow of your near arm pointed up to the sky and your fingertips reaching down your back as far as you can. Raise to your tippy toes and reach your arm up as high as you can and touch the wall.
Exercise #3: Planked Hamstring Curls
Place your forearms on the wall (in elbow plank) with your feet as far back as you feel you can safely go. Alternate “kicking yourself in the butt” one heel to glutes, and then the other. Do a total of 10 curls per side.
Exercise #4: Side-Crunch Planks
Do a side elbow plank on your wall, reaching your far arm up the wall and extending your far leg out without letting it touch the ground. Using your core, drive your outer elbow and knee together, squeezing tightly, and then slowly return to extension. Do 10 per side.
Exercise #5: Squat Hold Snowangels
Place your back against the wall with your feet planted a couple feet (or so) away from the wall. Bend your knees so you’re slightly squatted (ensure your knees don’t pass your toes, plant feet further out if they do) and hold the squat while you lift arms along the wall as if making a snowangel. Your goal is to keep your back, head, and arms touching the wall at all times. Do 10 reps.
Exercise #6: Sumo Rotators
Stand facing the wall with your feet spread very wide apart and your toes turned outward diagonally. Keep your feet glued, and gently shift your weight to the right, bending your right knee (and keeping your left leg straight) so that you are lunged. Simultaneously, rotate your trunk to the right and use your LEFT hand to reach as far down the wall to the right as you can. Now, repeat the move the other direction, so you’re alternating your lunge and reach from right to left. Do 10 reps.
So! Those are the 6 exercises I’d love to see you start doing. They’ll make an excellent kickstarter to your new fitness-based lifestyle…But! This is far from the end of it. If you really want to combat aging, doing this workout on occasion isn’t near enough. You’ve got to get out there and do some power-walking, bike riding, trail hiking, weight-lifting…things that make you uncomfortable and sweaty…and you’ve got to do them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It isn’t easy fighting Father Time. But once you start seeing the rewards; a stronger body that moves more efficiently through life, new energy levels, less sicknesses…well, I’d say THAT’S when you realize all the work and time you put in is totally worth it.
Rooting for you, my sweet friends! Talk to me down below in the comments! (James always gets a million comments on his RV-geek-stuff articles…stomp. pout.)