Contrary to popular belief, we’ve already found the secret to youth. While it’s not broadcast on TV or trending on social media, the answer is simple: Exercise! No creams, procedures, (or wishful thinking), can do for your body what a good workout does.
Living the life you want starts from changing your health from the the inside out. Here’s the keys from my book, “Younger in 8 Weeks”(opens in a new tab) which helps you rediscover your muscle, mobility, and vitality:
Use It or Lose It
What exactly is “it” I’m referring to? It’s your Strength. Muscle. Body. That beautifully-crafted temple that was designed to move. In my own studies, I’ve proven that losing “it” is related more to inactivity than age.
Healthy, lean muscle easily converts glucose and fat into fuel – and only gets better at doing so the more we flex. Stop exercising, however, and that same muscle no longer converts like it used to, instead, burning fat at a fraction of its capacity.
The more you move, the more efficient your muscles get at burning fat and providing energy for you to conquer the day.
Focus on Flexibility
While some think it’s turning oneself into a pretzel, more than anything, flexibility is a matter of muscle. Stretching a muscle lengthens the tendons that attach it to the bone. Flexible muscles, like your go-to hair tie, give to keep your ponytail perfectly in place. Stiff muscles and tendons, like the old, thin hair tie at the bottom of your purse, easily snap when you desperately need to pull your hair back! See the difference?
Bending so you don’t break is the foundation of your future health, mobility, and independence.
Take a Stand Against Sitting
How do you spend your day? Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s spent sitting. No study notes that this “park-it” lifestyle leads to longevity.
How to counteract this sit-down culture? Build motion into your everyday tasks. Try these starting points:
- Create a game – The more floors the better! At work or at home, challenge yourself to consistently go one floor or step further than the last time. Build upon your progress daily or weekly, and revel in setting a new PR!
- Hold a “moving meeting” – An outdoor walk-and-talk not only gives you the benefit of exercise, but may also spur creative solutions.
- Answer with a stand – Whenever you get a call on your cell phone, stand up to take it. Before you know it, you’ll stand up automatically when your phone rings.
Have you heard about the deep-tissue massage that only costs $20? If you aren’t familiar with foam rolling(opens in a new tab), than this is probably news to you!
Foam rolling is a DIY technique that combines stretching and massage to break up fibrous tissue that cause “knots” and discomfort in the body. Rolling can help increase range of motion, reduce muscle fatigue from exercise, and ease muscle soreness.
To note, the firmer the roller, the more aggressive the massage. Start with a softer roller (like one of these)(opens in a new tab) and experiment with the amount of pressure you apply. If you’re new to foam rolling, here’s my how-to.
My book “Younger in 8 Weeks”, which features an entire 8 week workout plan, can be purchased online(opens in a new tab). Showcasing 21 women, ages 36 to 66, who committed to change, you too can find your youth with these exercises that change the body from the inside out!