Have you heard of core conditioning? Core conditioning is at the center of senior fitness. It is the "apple a day" way to ensure that a woman's body stays strong and steady.
Simply put, core conditioning is a series of exercises that target your core and the body's center of power that starts just below your shoulders and ends just below your hips. You work out to gain strength in the muscles that control your trunk and spine while improving balance, agility and flexibility.
Adding core strength lets you continue to perform daily functions like lifting grocery bags, playing with grandchildren and getting in and out of your car.
A strong stable core also helps reduce the risk of injury and prevents back pain.
The following are exercises to build the back, abdominal, thigh and buttocks muscles associated with a strong core:
- Yoga - This ancient practice involves stretching and holding postures that focus on building flexibility, balance and strength.
- Tai Chi - This Chinese ritual involves precise relaxed exercises to increase agility and balance.
- Pilates - This is the latest craze involving the use of certain exercises to create longer and stronger muscles without the bulk.
- Weight training - Focus on exercises that target your core muscles. Start light and increase the intensity of your workout over time. You may want to consult with a personal trainer to develop a program tailored to your specific needs.
- Stability ball exercises - Sometimes called swiss balls or resistance balls, these large rubber exercise balls are one of the best ways to actively target and stabilize your core. Start with the ball slightly deflated or secure it against a wall until you are ready to add more challenge to your balance.
As always, it would be best to check with your physician to be sure that you get started on a fitness level that is right for you.
Your doctor also would be a source of information about how you could become involved in these activities in your community.