Stay active, stay young
Let's face it: Until scientists discover a way to reverse the effects of gravity, we're all destined to age. You can control the process considerably, however. Smoking, drinking to excess and too much sun take their toll on your face and your body.
Stay active, eat healthy foods and laugh a lot and you'll look younger than your sedentary counterparts. It's well worth the effort.
Plus, some exercises that stave off aging can also add an element of fun to your workout. Take balance, for example. Don't wait until you're shopping for a walker before deciding to add some one-legged action to your workout routine -- it's a no-brainer. The same goes for agility, which is defined as the ability to change direction and keep moving. Think of walking along a sidewalk and suddenly realizing you're about to step into a hole. Your ability to quickly step to the side and keep moving forward without losing your balance defines agility. Who doesn't need that?
Try a twist on traditional circuit training with this anti-aging circuit, which includes exercises that focus on motor skills such as balance, agility and coordination, traits we lose as we age.
Start with five to six "stations" such as those below and one set of each exercise if you're a beginner. Work up to two or three sets over several weeks. Begin with 30 seconds per movement and add 10 seconds each week until you reach 60 seconds or longer per exercise.
Whoops, dropped something
Toss a pencil or other small object on the floor and practice bending forward on one leg while allowing the other leg to lift out behind you in a "golfer's lift." Keep abs and glutes tight. Or lunge forward and reach for the object, pushing back to starting position after picking it up.
Laundry day challenge
Place clothes in a laundry basket or place objects in a box; hold the basket or box close to your body and carry it from one end of the room to the other. For a greater challenge, increase the weight of the load and/or add something that rolls around in the basket, which requires core strength.
Sock it to me
Stand as you pull on one sock and then the other without sitting or using any other support; then put on shoes and lace them while standing on one leg. You can do this one while getting ready for the gym.
Watch your step
Line up several boxes or small objects of varying heights and practice stepping up and over them. For a greater challenge, step over them sideways and forward.
Toss a small to medium-size ball from one hand to the other while standing on one leg and/or increasing the weight of the ball and bringing your hands further apart. Bounce it against a wall as a makeshift handball exchange (stay clear of the china cabinet!).
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