It seems the older I get the more difficult it is to get certain body parts back in shape. This is especially true of my arms.
But, here's the good news: I have found an easy way to make arms strong and lean again in a few minutes a day: I do push-ups.
Even if you're already engaged in a regular exercise program (and I hope you are), you should give serious consideration to adding push-ups to your routine. There's no doubt that in addition to working out with free weights, our fit first lady Michelle Obama does push-ups to get her gorgeous biceps.
There are so many good reasons to do push-ups every day, but here are my top five:
- They don't require a gym: Once you know how to do a proper push-up, you can do them at home, in your office, or even when traveling without going to a gym. In other words, they can be done anywhere, for free.
- They're quick: I drop down and do 20 push-ups before I start my day, another 20 when I end my day, and usually a few rounds of them when I do my full-body program (which includes the push-up, the plank, and the squat). They truly take only minutes to do and will show fast and long-lasting results if you do them right and regularly.
- They fight osteoporosis: Once women go through menopause and lose estrogen, our bones become less dense, putting us at risk for osteoporosis, which in turn puts us at greater risk for breaking a bone. Building muscle strength and stopping bone loss is essential to a good life as we age, and the push-up is a key tool for getting there.
- They help stave off injury: The rotator cuff injury, which can be very painful and debilitating, is more common with age. Too many people never recover fully from such injury and lose some range of motion and strength. Doing push-ups strengthens and stabilizes the muscles which support shoulders. The stronger and more stable this area is, the less likely you are to injure it.
- They make your arms look terrific: Okay, I admit it - I get a little thrill when I see some definition in my arms from doing push-ups. And the amazing thing is that even if you haven't done them for awhile, once you start doing them again (or for the first time) your arms respond very quickly.
Are you ready to get your arms in shape for summer . . . and for life? Take a look at this short video on how to do push-ups from the Best of Everything After 50 series for the AARP YouTube Channel. Your arms may soon be ready for just about anything.
Until next time, remember this: We can't control getting older . . . but . . . we can control how we do it.
For more tips on living your best life check out The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More and www.bestofeverythingafter50.com. I am on Facebook and Twitter at @BGrufferman.