RAMP UP YOUR EXERCISE
In cultures where people live long and healthy lives, rigorous physical activity is
the norm. You’re already on your way with the 30-minute daily walk you’ve taken since
Day 1 of this 6-Month Plan. This month we add weight-bearing, flexibility, and balance
exercises. (Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.)
Boost your aerobic activity by
stepping up the pace of your
walking—you should be breath-
ing fairly hard—and by adding
3,000 more steps each day.
it up A
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Add a short, 10-minute strength-training program to your daily
routine. Start with scissor legs,
then add exercises to strengthen
your shoulders, arms, and legs.
abs and inner thighs) Lying on
your back with your hands behind
your head, lift your legs at a 90-
degree angle, point your toes, and
then scissor your legs back and
forth 20 times, each time pushing
your knees 2 feet apart and then
bringing them back again.
This week, start each day with
a 10-minute stretching session.
Flexibility is key to ensuring that you
don’t injure yourself as you increase
your physical activity. You’ll want
to stretch your
chest, back, ab-
abs, and hips)
Sit with your legs
front of you. Keep-
ing your torso
upright and your
back straight, put
your right hand
on your left leg
and your left hand on the mat behind
you; gently twist to the left. Hold
for 10 seconds, then switch sides.
Do the stretch twice on each side.
Our sense of balance is coordi-
nated by three things: our pro-
prioception (which is our brain
telling us where we are in space),
our vision, and our hearing. As we
age, our ability to integrate the
signals from these three systems
declines. But it takes only a few
minutes a day to fine-tune it.
; One-legbalance Standingby
a chair, lift one leg; see how long
you can stand without lowering
your foot. Next, do the exercise
with your eyes closed. Switch legs.
Exchange sneakers with your exercise
buddy. You’ll be less likely to renege
on your daily walk together.