Some very simple things....
Like easily getting up from a chair, getting up off the floor and standing on one foot.
See how you do....
Start with getting up from a chair without using the arm rests or even putting your hands on your knees. If you have some difficulty then you probably have issues with your legs and lower body strength....weak quads. What is the best exercise for underused quads? That’s right, squats...and being able to get up easily from a chair will keep us all from the nursing home. Develope a habit of not using anything but your legs to lift yourself out of a chair.
Now getting off the floor....Your goal is to sit on the floor without touching your knees, legs, hands or arms and then get back up....unaided.
Go ahead and try it.
I’ll wait here.
Did you do it?
If you didn't, strengthening your core will help tremendously. And keep at it until you can get up and down without help. Then do it every day. The ability to get up and down from the floor is a big test of agility and agility lengthens your lifespan.
Now one more....balance. Fold your arms and raise one knee for 30 seconds. Can you do it easily? You know the commercial, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” right? It’s imperative that we work on balance so we don’t fall. Balance is the key to staying upright and I cannot tell you how many people I know that attribute a simple fall to subsequent knee surgery, shoulder surgery or hip surgery. My dear friend Teri Daly, fitness instructor extraordinare, has her clients stand on one foot in the morning while they brush their teeth and the other one at night. Easy....nothing hard here.
Speaking of getting up in the morning (and sometimes it is hard, right?) motivational speaker Mel Robbins gave an incredible talk about pretending NASA was in her bedroom. When the alarm goes off she counts down “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and then launches herself out of bed in order to fool her brain. After going through a really difficult period she needed to fool her brain into getting right up in the morning rather than hiding in bed. I have incorporated getting up from a chair with her rocket blast launch. I feel kind of powerful as I jump up from my chair - arms raised like Superman. It really does fool your brain into thinking you are way more powerful than you really are.
If you fall short on these little tests don't worry, the great thing about our bodies is it's never too late. Last week we found out after my husband took his echocardiogram that his heart has gone from functioning at 15% to an amazing 62% in just 18 months. All from diet, exercise and some incredible medicine. It's true I have let my core go to slush, my quads are mush and my balance is sadly wanting but each day it gets better. The instructors at Biometrix have designed a program to strengthen my core which is foundational to a healthy functioning body. After the surgeon took out my chest tube and I saw that that incision I thought it was all hopeless and I was convinced I would never be the same. I won't be the same because I will be better. I am already standing straighter, my energy continues to grow and some of the exercises are getting easier. I know for a fact that only a habit can subdue another habit. My habit on fitness has been to give up when it got hard or my life got too busy. Now I understand I cannot do that any more and have the quality of life I want. You don't have to hobble after you get up from a chair, you don't have to have help getting up from the floor and you can have great balance which will give you the best opportunity to remain agile and upright. Get strong, it's not too late, and you will be so happy you did.
My new mantra really is....
"Squats will keep me out of the nursing home"
Biometrix is partly subsiding my journey to fitness! And the trainers there are carefully trained to get you strong without you getting hurt or even too sore. It has been a remarkable experience.