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After turning 50, I noticed that my hips, thighs and other areas 'below the belt' were getting a bit too broad. More importantly, my bone density test showed that I was slowly but surely losing strength in my lower body as well. Not good!
Motivated by wanting to look terrific in my new jeans and the desire to keep osteoporosis far, far away, I embarked on a life-changing fitness program. It incorporates the 'three pillars' of overall fitness: cardio, strength-training and balance. The best part: I can do the program anywhere, anytime and it's free.
I've been doing these basic exercises - running with walk breaks, push-ups, balancing on one leg, and so on - for over five years and not only did I lose the post-menopausal 15 pounds, all my health check numbers (including my bone density test) improved or stabilized. I even convinced my husband to follow in my footsteps. Most days I catch him doing 20 push-ups, eating healthier foods, and checking his pedometer to make sure he's walked at least 10,000 steps, which is highly recommended for anyone at any age. I even have him eating Greek yogurt (I never thought I'd see the day!)
And, thanks to strengthening my lower body with the squat, I was able to actually try surfing this summer with my two teenaged daughters and stay on the board (kinda, sorta)! Here's a photo:
I was able to try paddle-boarding, too, because of my stronger legs. Just call me "Gidget Grufferman."
The essential ingredient to starting any fitness program, though, is making sure you do it right. Countless exercise newbies end up hurting themselves, simply because they didn't take the time to 1.) get the 'green light' from the doctor; and 2.) learn the correct form when doing the exercises.
Well, I'm not going to let you make that same mistake! Before you start adding this key lower body strength-building exercise into your program, please take a few minutes to watch this video. The last thing you want to do is hurt your knees or lose your balance while doing the Squat, so please take a look before you start. Oh, and one extremely important tip: make sure you thrust your hips back as far as you can, as you're lowering your body. This will keep the pressure off your knees.
I want to hear from you! Let me know what you want to see on future segments of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING WITH BARBARA HANNAH GRUFFERMAN video show on the AARP YouTube Channel. For more tips on living your best life after 50 (or 60, or 70), check out www.bestofeverythingafter50.com. Keep me posted on how you're doing by subscribing to me on Facebook and tweeting me on Twitter@BGrufferman.
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