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30-Day Plank Challenge

We are 7 days into our 30-day squat challenge. Have you guys been keeping up?! We’ve just done our 80 squats for the day, and we had a thought, “Let’s incorporate another challenge to get a full body workout.”

In comes the 30-day plank challenge. The challenge pushes you to hold your plank a bit longer every few days as the month progresses. By the end of the month, the goal is to hold a 5-minute plank. Planks are not only a great exercise for your core, but the benefits of planking include a stronger back, and better balance and posture.

The best part about it is it’s quick and you can do it anywhere. So join us! Print out the schedule below (put it next to your 30-day squat challenge) and get ready to start incorporating planks into your everyday life!

30-day-plank-challenge-chart


Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Lyfebulb) and Instagram (@Lyfebulb) and show us your exercise tips and progress by tagging us and using the hashtag #ExerciseRegularly.

How to Stay Fit and Healthy in Later Life

Some people think that exercise is something for younger people. Yet, being sedentary is a big problem no matter what your age. About 60 percent of adult Americans don’t meet the recommended physical guidelines. Exercise is an essential lifelong activity that offers numerous health benefits.

Benefits of Staying Fit

Staying fit and healthy will improve your quality of life on several fronts as you age. A review published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found that regular exercise is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States and the global community. Other health benefits include:

Types of Exercise

The recommended guidelines for physical activity are 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise and two weekly sessions of strength training. Each type of exercise helps you in different ways.

  • Weight-Bearing Exercises

Weight-bearing exercises like walking or running help you maintain bone mass. As you age, your bones become less dense, and thus, more prone to damage. Women and older individuals are at a greater risk. However, this can occur at any age. Even short walks can make a difference.

  • Balance Exercises

Balance exercises like yoga and Pilates offer gentle ways to stretch and strengthen your muscles, especially in your core. Strong abdominal muscles will assist with balance and can help reduce falls, a common occurrence in older adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of adults over 65 experience a fall each year.

These exercises can also help prevent back problems. Strong core muscles provide better support for your back. A study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that back issues ranked third among the costliest health expenses at a yearly expense of nearly $90 billion. Fortunately, these exercises aren’t taxing, so you can do them every day.

  • Strength Training Exercises

Think you’re too old to lift weights? Think again! A study published in the journal, Age of the American Aging Association, considered the effects of strength training on individuals aged 90 and higher. Researchers found that after a 12-week training program, participants showed improvements in walking speed, muscle mass, and the ability to get up from a chair.

While you may not be thinking about little things like standing up, they can make a significant difference in elderly individuals. Remember that even for those living in assisted living facilities, the independence that comes from the ability to get around and take care of yourself is priceless. But it requires staying active.

  • Aerobic Workouts

Walking can suffice as an aerobic workout as you age. From a practical point of view, it’s easy and free. But it also offers additional benefits. Spending time in nature can improve your mental well-being. A review published in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology, found that exercising outdoors improved a person’s mental health more than working out indoors.

The benefits of staying fit and healthy make a good case for finding time to work out even as you age. However, it’s essential to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime, especially if you have a pre-existing condition or are on any medication.

After all, exercise, though beneficial, still places a strain on your system. Take the time to seek the advice of your doctor about an appropriate amount and type of exercise for you. Once you have obtained the green light to start exercising, you can take a significant step towards ensuring an active and independent life as you move into your golden years.

Meet Up Retired Wellbeing Pensioner Workout Concept

Balance Training

Balance has to do with our ability to stay in one position for a given period of time without moving. It sounds silly because how often do any of us actually do this? Balance training is more important than just teaching us how to stand still with our eyes closed.

yoga on the beach, healthy lifestyle concept

However when we practice standing on one foot, eyes open or closed, we learn how to use gravity, environmental feedback, cues from our feet, and what we see to train the muscles in our body. Balance training also involves strengthening core muscles and muscles around joints. By learning where our bodies are in space and improving joint stability, we are better able to sense which muscles are needed to activate or deactivate to keep joints in proper alignment when moving. This improves coordination, athletic skill, and posture, which prevent falls and muscle strains, decreasing the likelihood of injuries.  

Wonder where to start? First, test your balance. Stand close enough to a wall that you can use it for support. Stare at a spot on a static object in front of you and slowly shift your weight onto one foot while lifting the other off of the ground. If you feel yourself falling, place your foot back on the ground or your hand on the wall. If this is challenging, continue to practice this on both sides.

If you feel comfortable doing this, try walking heel to toe in a straight line. You can slowly progress to walking lunges and using props to help improve your balance. Simply sitting on an Indo Board, Physioball, or BOSU balance trainer will strengthen your core muscles by challenging your balance. Once you develop greater balance, you can begin to stand on an Indo Board and BOSU trainer, then take that one step further and use these props for dynamic exercises, for example doing squats on a BOSU trainer.

Getting into exercise for the first time or after a long hiatus? This is the place to start. Balance training is the best way to get to know your body and become conscious of where it is in space.

If you are currently active, return your focus to balance training. Combine balance exercises with flexibility, endurance, and strength training to improve overall physical fitness. But first, consult with a doctor, physical therapist, or a well-educated personal trainer to make sure your body is up for the challenge.

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