Getting in shape after 50: 3 exercises that reverse aging

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If you haven’t exercised in years, it’s time to get going! You lose balance, core strength and overall muscle strength every year if you don’t do something about it.  

Even if you’re 50, 60 or 70 you can start to reverse these changes with a few simple moves. Do these three exercises three times a week, and add on other exercises as you get more fit. 

The simplest way to challenge your balance is by simply standing on one leg. If you’re unsteady, stand with your side near a wall or countertop and hold on lightly with one hand. Shift your weight to one foot, bringing the opposite foot in front of you, a few inches off the ground, and see how long you can hold it. Do the same on the other leg. Feeling solid? Now try letting go and time yourself. Once you can stand on one leg for 60 seconds try it with your eyes closed. (It’s a lot harder than it sounds!) 

Woodchops work great on their own as a core move or as a warm-up for a bigger workout: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and hold onto a small water bottle with both hands. Bend knees and hips, dropping into a squat as you bring the bottle down to touch your left foot, shin or knee (depending on your flexibility). As you rise up out of the squat, rotate and extend your arms up, over your right shoulder (as if throwing the bottle behind your right shoulder). Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.   

If you think push-ups are too hard, try this version against a wall: Stand facing a wall with hands on the wall at chest height (as if doing a push-up on the floor) and shimmy feet back far enough so you have to lean in to reach the wall. Keep your abdominals tight as you bend your arms and lower yourself towards the wall slowly and then slowly push back until your arms are straight. Repeat 15 times. That’s all it takes to start turning back the clock! 

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