Forget about Botox. Turn back the clock with these simple guidelines to look and feel forever young.
Find balance—and a better leg workout—with these four exercises from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer Ramona Braganza.
It’s hard to believe, but starting as early as your twenties, your sense of balance begins to decrease. That’s not to say you can’t slow down the process. “How rapidly the sense of balance diminishes depends on our genes, on the natural process of aging and, to a large extent, on how physically active we are and the types of activities we do,” explains health and science writer Scott McCredie in his book Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense.
The best exercises challenge your sense of balance by incorporating BOSU balls, wobble boards and Xerdiscs into your leg workout. Incorporating this equipment not only makes for a more challenging routine but also builds up your agility.
“Balance exercises speed up your reaction time and improve the brain-to-muscle connection,” explains celebrity trainer and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer Ramona Braganza. “They prepare you for walking on slippery ice in the winter or stepping out of a shower onto a wet floor.”
As we age, Braganza says, being able to stay balanced and on your feet becomes ever more important. The majority of injuries to seniors stem from losing your balance (a.k.a. falling). More than a third of adults age 65 and older in the U.S. fall each year, according to research cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, falls are the predominant cause of traumatic brain injury among members of this age group.
Here are four moves that Braganza recommends to help you stay grounded.
HAMSTRING CURL WITH A STABILITY BALL10 reps
Begin lying on your back with ankles and heels placed on top of a stability ball, toes pointing up. Raise your hips, contract your glutes, and keep your hands by your side to stabilize yourself. Roll the ball in toward your hips by rolling from your heels onto the balls of your feet. Pause momentarily and then roll the ball back out, keeping your hips elevated.
To increase the level of difficulty, try rolling one leg at a time, or raising your arms in the air while rolling.
Strengthens: Glutes and hamstrings
ROMANIAN DEAD LIFT ON AN XERDISC
Strengthens: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and inner thigh
SQUATS ON A BOSU DOME
10 to 15 reps
Strengthens: Glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps
SINGLE LEG LUNGE ON A WOBBLE BOARD
10 reps on each side
Strengthens: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves