The mild days of spring are a great time to get outside and move more – whether it’s walking, gardening, or hiking. As you age, you may find yourself becoming more sedentary, which causes you to lose strength and energy. Fight off those sluggish winter doldrums and get moving – you can keep your strength and get stronger no matter what age you are!
Focus on Your Core
What does it mean when someone tells you to focus on your core? Your core are the muscles in your midsection or torso surrounding the spine and pelvis. This includes the abdominal muscles at the front but also muscles within the lower back and around your sides. You use your core muscles while performing daily tasks like getting up from a chair, standing, walking, vacuuming and lifting things.
As with other muscles, if you don’t use our core muscles enough, they become weak. As the muscles weaken, your movements become less supported, which can put pressure on other parts of your body. Weakness in the core can also be associated with lower back pain, particular among older people.
The good news is you can improve core strength with exercise. And there is no one exercise that is best – choose an approach that works best for you. Start slowly and keep your movements slow to warm up the muscles and prevent injuries. In my next article I will give you examples of good exercises to do to improve your core strength.
As the weather gets warmer and you increase your physical activity, you need to remember to drink more fluids. Keeping hydrated is so important. Over 70 percent of our body is made up of water. Water helps regulate your body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells and keep organs functioning properly. Being well hydrated will also improve your sleep quality, cognition and mood. Always drink before, during and after you exercise.
Remember if you use it, you will not lose it – so take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and start moving more! Be healthy and happy, and always remember – age is just a number!
This article originally appeared in the Ventura Breeze.