While regular exercise, stress reduction and tranquility in the workplace are three giant factors in regards to healthy aging, nutrition is arguably the most important. What you put into your body impacts both how you feel and how you look. Researchers have stated that eating processed foods or drinking beverages high in sugar will accelerate the signs of aging, from interior and exterior standpoints.
Here are a few commonly consumed foods and beverages that you probably didn't know were bursting with essential vitamins and healthy antioxidants that may help keep you thriving with every turn of the calendar.
The berry family is as nourishing as it is delicious, and the nutritional value is seemingly infinite. Blueberries, raspberries or cranberries, it is hard to go wrong when every berry choice is loaded with a wide abundance of vitamins, flavonoids, polyphenols, probiotics and tons of other key antioxidants. Flavonoids are known to stimulate brain power and offset chances of cognitive decline and blackberries contain the highest level of the berries, while polyphenols abundant in strawberries are renown for their cardiovascular support and anti-inflammatory properties. Many researchers have examined the healthy aging impacts provided thorough consuming berries, including their ability to promote beneficial maturation.
From losing weight to boosting brain function, the effects green tea has on aging are as valuable as they are copious. It was recently reported that researchers from the University of Basel have examined how adding more green tea to your diet can improve your memory, boost overall cognitive performance and effectively connect neurons from the frontal and parietal brain regions. It's also essential for your skin, possessing several antioxidants that help dermis and epidermis cells grow properly leaving you with an illuminating glow the older you become. Green tea is also high in the chemical epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which helps stimulate metabolism and provide immediate relief for sickness.
An ideal entree for anyone looking to cheat the symptoms of aging, a couple servings of fish per week can go a long way for your health. From canned tuna to smoked salmon, fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that can do everything from lower cholesterol to reduce cognitive decline. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone consume fish at least twice a week. In fact, symptoms from a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can include dry skin, poor memory and mood swings.
An underrated snack that needs the nutritional recognition it deserves, nuts are a healthy treat for aging symptoms and an ideal way to satisfy hunger between meals. First off, adding nuts to your diet will help reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol in your body, while also working to improve the lining of your arteries, accelerating blood circulation. The number of anti-inflammatory properties found in every handful of almonds, hazelnuts or peanuts may help to decrease the likelihood of acne or skin irritation, as well as boosting your vitamin E intake.
Youthful looks are hard to come by the older you get, which is why a steady intake of tomatoes will have your skin looking younger than ever before. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant compound that does wonders for your skin, including protection from UV damage as well as decreasing wrinkles. You can add tomatoes to practically any meal, so there is never an inopportune moment to spark a little vigor into your appearance.
Summer is just around the corner, which means that it is time to start shaping up and trimming down to look your best! The No. 1 way to stay cut and feel great in the heat is by eating right and avoiding unhealthy temptations. While scarfing a ballpark frank, chili cheese fries and a sugary snow cone sound like solid summer snacks at the time, indulging in these unhealthy vices will start to pack on the pounds. So ditch the greasy fried foods, ignore the ice cream truck siren and feel good about your dietary decisions with this nutritional list of five quality treats all under 50 calories to keep you lean and on the go this summer!
Of course there is nothing like firing up the grill and relishing an old fashioned outdoor summer cookout, but eating too many meat kebabs are a quick way to expand that belly. Instead, fix up some fruit skewers as a nutritional snack substitute that is as tasty as it is healthy. Cut up some strawberries, melon and grapes that will provide an eclectic blend of antioxidants that won't spoil your appetite and keep you active. Applying a few slices of each fruit to a kebab stick will come out to well under 50 calories, while providing the perfect amount of energy to avoid that mid-day crash.
While carrots and broccoli get all the attention for their nutritional qualities, cauliflower is an often forgotten bite-size snack that boasts as many vitamins and minerals as any of the other usual vegetables. Just one floret of cauliflower possesses three calories, meaning a couple handfuls worth will leave you feeling great for way below 50 calories. Plus, they are packed with boron, a mineral that can help build muscle and enhance testosterone levels, making it an ideal pre-workout treat. You can also steam cauliflower to preserve its vitamin content while making it more tender and tastier.
The plentiful health benefits of avocados have been taken advantage of since the days of the ancient Aztec civilizations, and the fruit continues to provide a healthier snack alternative. One ounce of avocado amounts to around 45 calories, and possesses significant quantities of anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as phytosterols, omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoid antioxidants that boost your immune system. Add in the abundance of iron, magnesium and potassium and you have the perfect snack option that is bursting with taste and nutrition.
This summer, ditch the buffalo wings and head straight for the good stuff. Celery is often served as a side dish accompaniment to fattening appetizers and entrees, but eating them solo will satisfy your hunger without costing you calories. Each stick of celery contains only six calories, while its immense presence of phthalides and coumarin work to lower blood pressure and ease muscle tension. If a plain stalk is a tad too dull for your snack preferences, try dipping them in a bowl of nonfat peanut butter or hummus to help add some flavor.
Filled with a vast variety of essential vitamins and minerals, asparagus is a great snack that can stimulate your mind and your metabolism. Asparagus is thriving with folate, an anti-aging antioxidant that helps fight symptoms of cognitive decline in the brain, leaving your body and your mind healthier. One serving of asparagus, while containing only three calories, has zero milligrams of sodium and cholesterol as well as zero grams of fat, helping your stomach feel full without looking it.
It is easy to see how getting the family together for dinner can be put on the back burner. Whether it is soccer practice, guitar lessons or staying late at the office, a sit-down meal with the entire family can be hard to make happen. While work and hobbies are always essential components to the day, finding the time to get everyone together for a home-cooked dinner is a lost art that many families are missing out on. So, if your family enjoys supper scattered around the house or in front of the television, it may be worth making family dinner time a priority.
Bring everyone together
One of the obvious motivations for gathering the family around the dinner table is simply to cherish an opportune moment in the day when everyone is together. Recent surveys have estimated that only 40 percent of families in the U.S eat dinner together around three or fewer times per week, while 10 percent of families never eat supper together. While it's somewhat unreasonable to expect to mesh everyone's schedules together seven nights a week, planning family dinners in advance will help to improve the overall sense of unity, not to mention get everyone caught up with each other's lives. In an era where quickness and technology are held to the highest regard, sometimes sitting down, putting away the phones and sharing a healthy meal and discussion is the greatest virtue a family can have.
Emphasis on nutrition
There's no doubt that constantly being on the go and shuttling the kids from one activity to another may lead to the occasional fast food pit stop. These drive-thru occasions, no matter how infrequent, can add up and truly take a toll on you or your children's health. It is estimated that around 68 percent of American adults today are considered obese, and nearly 20 percent of children ages 6 through 11 are deemed overweight as well. Fast food intake is higher than ever, and is widely considered a major suspect in this national obesity epidemic. When you cook a meal at home, you are the chef and master nutritionist. Toss together a salad with fresh sliced fruit so that your family can reap the rewards of healthy antioxidants and nutrients. The dinner table is also an opportune time and place to enlighten your kids on their nutrition, explaining to them why fruits and vegetables are so essential to their everyday diet.
Balance your budget
Not only can going out to eat be unhealthy, it can also do some damage to your bank account! It has been estimated that upwards to 50 percent of all meals are eaten away from home, and when you really start to think about that, it can add up quick. This is just another reason why sharing a meal at home can benefit your family. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that the average cost to feed a family of four is between $146 to $289 per week. When you start to do the math, you will find that spending around $250 per week on groceries for the whole family accounts to $62.50 per person every week, which results in around $250 spent on meals per month for each family member. Now let's say a family of four dines out three times a week. At an average of $10 an entree, the total bill can be anywhere from $40 to $50 per restaurant meal, which comes to about $150 per week spent on eating out, or $600 a month, on top of already purchasing groceries for home. These casual dining routines can take its course financially over time, which is why sticking to a home cooked meal is just another advantage for the entire family.
Planning the perfect dinner
Establishing specific days during the week is a perfect way to start organizing your family's meals and help everyone stay on the same page. If there is an evening that no one has any scheduled activities, designate it as family pasta night and create your own tradition. Sundays are generally the perfect occasion for such, plus you can spend the day cooking together – why not try your hand a homemade pasta. Make a few rules for the dinner table as well, such as no phones or television so everyone's attention is geared toward enjoying the company and food. Remember, a closer dinner table can be a big step toward a tighter family, so try to squeeze some time in for exclusive dining experiences.
When it comes to evaluating the amount of sodium needed for a healthy diet, there are plenty of qualities to consider. It is important to remember that the body needs sodium, specifically for controlling blood pressure and volume while also helping our muscles and nerves work together properly. However, the biggest concern with sodium is that because it is commonly found in a variety of regularly consumed food we tend to ingest too much of it, which can lead to a variety of potential health hazards.
According to the American Heart Association, 9 out of 10 Americans are consuming too much sodium on a daily basis. The average recommendation for sodium is estimated at 1,500 milligrams or less, while it is projected that the average American is eating more than 3,400 milligrams. This consistent excess of the element is one of the main attributes to the statistic that 77.9 million American Adults have high blood pressure, and cutting your sodium intake levels in half can also help lower cholesterol. The abundance of this element is a health risk that continues to negatively impact the overall quality of life for people all around the world.
There are a few subtle and obvious indicators that you are potentially ingesting too much sodium on a day-to-day basis. Besides high blood pressure, these symptoms also include:
- Frequently feeling thirsty
- Sensations of bloating or feeling uncomfortable within the stomach
- Decrease in bone strength and/or density
The biggest reason you are loading your body with sodium is due to ingesting too much salt in your diet. Here are a few commonly used foods that secretly are packed with high levels of sodium and could also be the main component to your dietary abundance of sodium:
Cold cut meat sandwiches
Sandwiches are generally the quickest and simplest recipe to create when it comes to packing a lunch, but they can also be filled with the most sodium. By adding approximately 2 ounces of cold cut meats, which roughly translates into six thin slices, you are already receiving half of your daily sodium needs. Now tack on the fact that a slice of bread generally has around 120 milligrams of sodium, a slice of cheese can possess well over 300 milligrams plus any other condiments required for a tasty sandwich and you will be pushing closer and closer to your full-on daily recommendation. Always look for low-sodium options when it comes to sandwich ingredients, and use all of them sparingly.
Nothing may warm up the soul like a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup, but many people are unaware that canned soups are packed with salt preservatives to help boost their taste. While these products are often advertised as providing great sources of vitamins and minerals, they also can contain upwards of 600 milligrams of sodium or higher per can. Like most food items, checking the labels to see whether they are promoting a sticker claiming to be low-sodium is the best way to know the contents of the element.
Cereals are another food item that you need to keep an eye out for their labels. While the levels of sodium between all different types of brands fluctuates, some popular choices can easily contain up to 250 or more milligrams of sodium per serving. To put that into further perspective, a serving of cereal is generally a ½ cup, which often needs to be multiplied to effectively determine the correct amount of sodium in your bowl. Always look at the nutrition facts and you will find that there are plenty of low-sodium options for breakfast cereal.
There are an estimated 15 million people living in the U.S. with a food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research and Education, which is a number that has continued to rise over the past several years. Children are at the root of the problem, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that food allergies with children has risen more than 50 percent since 1997. While most people are aware of what foods can spawn allergic symptoms, some people are still left in the dark, which is why recognizing the most common forms of food allergies is essential in preventing potential severe reactions in the future.
While anyone can potentially become allergic to just about any food, there are only eight foods that account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions in the U.S. Here is the breakdown of those foods:
- Tree nuts
A peanut allergy is typically the most common form of food sensitivity, and symptoms can range from minor skin reactions or digestive problems to severe constriction of airways or loss of consciousness. Peanut allergies are also the greatest cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, which can be a serious medical emergency that can potentially require adrenaline injections.
Peanuts are different than tree nuts, in the general sense that peanuts do not grow on trees as do almonds, cashews and walnuts. However, it is important to note that an estimated 25 to 40 percent of people allergic to peanuts are also prone to hypersensitivity with tree nuts. If you are allergic to one or the other, it is advised to generally stay away from nuts as a whole.
Milk is the most reported allergy among infants and children, and an estimated 2.5 percent of children aged three years and younger are allergic to milk. The reason why children are prone to milk allergies is due to the high levels of antibodies that are prevalent in cow's milk, but most children are actually capable to grow out of the allergy the older they become. Blood testing is available from doctors to determine whether or not a child can ward off their milk allergy.
Fish and shellfish
Fish and shellfish allergies tend to lead to the most severe types of reactions among all food allergies. These types of allergens are generally not discovered until you become an adult, in which 40 percent of fish allergies and 60 percent of shellfish allergies are found out as a grown-up. Allergies to fish and shellfish are not the same family of fish, so you can consume one while being allergic to the other.
Take control of food allergies
Food allergies are essentially the result of a specific ingredient in a food triggering a hazardous response in your immune system, prompting a wide variety of potential side effects. Practically all food allergies are discovered simply through trying new foods the older you get, and can be extremely unpredictable. Once you're aware of your food allergy, reading the ingredients on labels is the most important thing you can do when it comes to preventing reactions.
Food labels are required to list when something has a particular ingredient that could prompt allergies. For instance, with wheat allergies, a label will list ingredients with wheat in them in parenthesis, such as flour (wheat). It is also crucial to know your symptoms as well, and always have the appropriate medication handy in the rare instance something you eat unknowingly has the allergen.
Although its tendencies, symptoms and origins are generally undisclosed, iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world according to the World Health Organization. A deficiency in iron is also linked to a condition known as anaemia, which is when the body does not produce enough red blood cells to provide sufficient amounts of oxygen to body tissues. Developing iron deficiency is generally the result of a recent loss in blood or not receiving enough iron in your diet. These are serious health hazards, and being aware of potential side effects of iron deficiency are crucial in terms of increasing the likelihood of prevention. Here are a few indicators that could possibly be a signal that you are iron deficient:
Feeling tired is generally the biggest sign that you are not receiving enough iron for your body. This is due to not enough oxygen being provided to your muscles, because your red blood cells do not have sufficient levels of iron. If you are frequently finding yourself yawning and nodding off at various hours of the day despite getting an adequate amount of sleep the night before, iron deficiency could be the primary culprit.
Decreased attention span
Another common symptom of iron deficiency is experiencing a lack of focus. Whether at work, school or socializing with friends, low iron levels can trigger an alteration of your neurotransmitters, which are synapses between your brain cells that can impact everything from your reaction time, apathetic emotions, to your attention span. Getting more iron in your body can help assist your ability to concentrate.
If you have noticed that your skin is extremely lacking in tan, increasing your time spent laying out in the sun might not be the cure to your problem. When iron levels are low and fewer amounts of oxygen are being provided throughout your body, your skin pigmentation might be one of the first alterations you will notice. Put some color back into your complexion by upping the ante on your iron intake.
Shortness of breath
If you have only gone half way through your typical morning jog and you are already feeling gassed, a depletion in iron might be the primary suspect to point the blame. Another usual side effect of iron deficiency is how your endurance becomes affected, which can produce series of coughing or wheezing fits, especially while exercising.
Confused because you feel like you spent the last 24 hours practicing extreme weightlifting? A lack of oxygen being supplied to your muscles will definitely lead to your arms and legs feeling extremely overwhelmed. Take back control over your body and find out what you can do to receive the iron you need to keep on going strong.
Great sources of iron
If you are concerned that you might be at risk for iron deficiency, schedule a blood screening test with your doctor today. A few foods to help provide your body with the iron it needs include:
- Cashews, almonds and peanuts
- Whole grains, bran and fortified cereals
- Liver or beef tenderloin
Another terrific source of iron adding two scoops of Naturade Soy-Free Veg to your favorite beverage. Gulping down eight ounces of this soy free protein powder will give your body 40 percent of its daily recommendation for iron.
Bust out the elbow and knee pads, it is time for some skating! While rollerblading is often given up after years of trips, falls and bruises as a teenager, this fun and active pastime is not only an enjoyable way to maneuver around your city, but can provide your body with an amazing and extensive workout. Here are just a few of the ways rollerblading a few times a week can help boost your figure back into shape this summer:
Tone that muscle
Gliding through the streets, weaving your legs faster and faster while guiding your body with your arms seems like quite an exercise when you really think about it. All of these fluid movements while propelling yourself around on rollerblades is also great ways to help build a little muscle.
First off, the constant motion of thrusting and extending your hips is able to tone your quadriceps as well as your glutes. Your glutes are what helps stabilize your body's balance, and consistent rollerblading helps strengthen them and create some tone. Hamstrings are also receiving quite a bit of exercise throughout all of this, with each lift of your foot as you push yourself harder. Then there is your abdominal muscles, which work as the core of your body, orchestrating which leg goes forward as your hips rotate in dictation. Who knew that simply rollerblading could work out all of these muscles at one time?
Get your aerobics going
Rollerblading also works out the most important muscle you have - the heart. Just 30 minutes of actively rollerblading can get your heart rate up to 148 beats per minute, while also helping you burn more than 300 calories. This can equate to just about the same from cycling, while you are also working out all of those muscles, something that can not be replicated through biking.
Sailing around on a fresh new pair of rollerblades is not only a snazzier way to get somewhere instead of running, but it is also easier on your bones. Every time you take a step while sprinting, added pressure is placed upon your ankle and foot joints, which over time can generally lead to occasional pain and fractures. Rollerblading eliminates all of this because you are never adding pressure on your ankles and feet. Instead, you are maintaining an even amount of stress that is minimal and healthier for your body in the long run, no pun intended.
Add some excitement!
Where is the fun in running on a stationary treadmill? Put some thrills into your exercise routine and get back on those rollerblades! They are a great way to get around, fly past some scenery and even walk your dog. Better yet, they require no gasoline or fuel, just a little drive and determination which is always better for the environment. So, the next time you need to go out to run an errand, leave the keys at the house and pop on a pair of rollerblades, one of the more entertaining times you can have while staying active.
Getting ready to take off for a vacation or booking your next flight for work is always somewhat stressful. You have to remember to make hotel reservations, bring your passport if you are heading out of the country and last but not least, pack that toothbrush. With so many different obstacles to juggle, it is easy to forget about your own health sometimes, but it is your immune system that that should be on the forefront of your mind when it comes to frequent travel. Everything from changing time zones to drinking foreign tap water can have some sort of physical impact on your body, so for the next time you find yourself taking the red eye flight away from home, here are a few tips to help give your immune system a much needed boost:
As simple as this tip can be, maintaining plenty of fluid intake is as essential as it gets when it comes to a healthy immune system. When you are traveling in a plane, the air pressure and drop in humidity can provoke dehydration, which is the biggest advocate for an unprotected immune system. It is recommended that while traveling you should drink 8 ounces of water every hour, and try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, especially when traveling by plane.
Antioxidants are your friend
When your body enters a location it is not familiar with, it becomes more susceptible to floating bacteria and viruses with which your immune system has never been acquainted. That is why ingesting plenty of healthy antioxidants is your best source for preventative action against illness. Loading up on vitamins A, C and E is the simplest way to keep your body in tip top condition. Some great foods bursting with antioxidants include:
- pinto beans
You can also get plenty of antioxidants by consuming just a few capsules of Symbiotics Lactoferrin, which is proven to defend your immune system while sprucing you up with some much needed traveling energy.
Colostrum is key
If you are not aware of all the immune boosting properties adding some colostrum can provide for your body, it is time to get with the picture. Everything from easing digestion to increasing your immune response is supplied through colostrum supplements, and the amount of proteins, antibodies and antioxidants each serving contains is practically unparalleled to any other vitamin supplement out there. Try taking a few capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus during your next trip, and get ready to conquer the world!
Look, it is always important to stay healthy and active. Running is a perfect form of exercise that not only improves cardiovascular activity, builds muscles and helps burn calories, but can also provide therapeutic ability for those looking to clear their minds. That being said, we can all point out someone who sort of takes the whole jogging thing a bit too far. Whether it is suspending your lunch break to get a quick 5k dash in or missing a friend's wedding because it was on the same date as the New York City Marathon, there is such thing as runner's obsession. While an addiction to sprinting is better than a dependency to cheeseburgers, there is a difference between exercise and a fetish. Here are 10 signs that you could be obsessed with running.
Your kids are always late to school
If you are often finding yourself having to explain your child's tardiness to your teachers as a consequence of good weather and a new pair of running shoes, then you just might have a problem. Remember, education is always first and foremost.
Justifying your dessert
When it gets to a point where every slice of cake or scoop of ice cream is being carefully calculated by how many calories in each spoonful divided by the amount of miles jogged this morning, perhaps it's time for an intervention.
You are in a meeting for work, fingers constantly tapping the table while your face is dripping with sweat. But this is not because you forgot to fill out your TPS reports. Your condition is the result of not being able to conduct your morning run because you accidentally slept in. Hopefully your boss doesn't notice.
Re-examining your wardrobe
This is your third weekend of shopping in a row, except none of these trips have resulted in a new dress or an expensive suit. Instead, your possession of compression shorts, headbands and tank-tops has increased by nearly 300 percent.
You are feeling a tad fatigued
You have canceled dinner reservations at your favorite seafood restaurant, turned down free tickets to the opera and chose not to spend the weekend at your father-in-law's beach house in Connecticut. Why? Daily marathon training has completely eliminated your social life. Remember that taking a break sometimes is just as important as reaching the finish line.
Knowing the neighbors too well
If you are finding yourself becoming aware of the fact that your nextdoor neighbor Carl only mows his lawn on Tuesday mornings, Cindy down the street never bothers to pick up after her cocker spaniel or that Chris likes to put up his Christmas lights in late October, perhaps your neighborhood jog is happening a tad too often.
Frequent beard compliments
If running has become such a huge priority to your mornings that simple hygienic actions have taken the back burner, you might need to step off the treadmill and look into the mirror. Remember, beards are always better on island castaways and guitarists in cheap sunglasses, not on young professionals such as yourself.
Your dog hates you
This could either happen because you take your dog with you every time you decide to run several miles, or you don't take your dog with you every time you decide to run several miles. It really depends on whether your pet shares your enthusiasm for exercise.
Awkward water cooler conversations
You are running so much that you have absolutely no idea who won the football game, which movie won best picture or which celebrity checked back into rehab. As a result, no one wants to talk to you at the office, and your colleagues have stopped inviting you to Friday happy hour. Enlighten yourself and catch up on your pop culture.
Your spouse is suspicious
Your poor significant other is spending another morning reaching across the bed and waking up to an empty indent of where the person they love once used to keep them company. Your spouse might start to suspect something if your excuses for your constant absences are, "I went out for a jog." Rekindle that fire and at least invite them along for the run.
Maintaining balance grows more important as we age, and if you notice yourself a bit wobbly now, it may be time to start strengthening your core. Your midsection plays an important role in staying on your feet, whether during athletics or when you're bringing in groceries. In addition to working out your abdominal muscles, you'll want to make sure that your major joints – the hips and knees, mainly – are steady and stable as well. A joint supplement can help to ensure that these parts of your body are ready for a challenge.
When it comes to the core, many people will turn to yoga or Pilates to gently strengthen their muscles. However, signing up for a class and sticking to a schedule can be tricky when you're busy. Instead, you can try out some of these balancing exercises at home on your own:
To start things out, try practicing simple weight shifts. These are as easy as standing with your feet hip-width apart, having your weight evenly distributed between both legs. From here, shift your weight to one side, as you lift the other foot off of the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds, or as long as you can hold good form. Then you should return to the starting position and practice the exercise on the other side. Overtime, you'll notice improvements to your balance, as you are able to complete more repetitions while maintaining perfect form.
Now, to focus more on your core, try completing a set of toe raises. To do so, you'll want to be barefoot. Standing behind a chair, lightly place your fingertips on the back of it. Keep your shoulders back, with your abdomen pulled in. Now, lift your heels off of the ground slowly, redistributing your body weight to the balls of your feet. Pause for a moment before returning to the starting position. You should be able to do this eight to 15 times. Completing this exercise requires your core to keep the body stable, and you will also find that it strengthens the calves.
Seniors who are looking to improve their balance can do so with the heel-to-toe walk. With your arms extended out to either side, take a step forward by placing the heel of your left foot directly in front of the toe of your right foot. When doing so, the heel and toe should be touching or almost touching. While performing this walk, you should keep your head straight and your eyes focused on something located directly in front of you. Continue walking heel to toe for 20 steps.
For something a bit more challenging, the liftoff helps to strengthen the abs in addition to the back, shoulders, hamstrings and butt. This is another great option for strengthening the core, which will ultimately improve your balance. To start, stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Bring your back parallel to the ground by hinging forward at the hips – you'll need to extend your arms down to help maintain your balance. Now, lift one leg from the ground and raise it out behind you. While doing so, bring your arms directly out from your sides. This puts all of your weight on one leg and you will need the muscles in your core to prevent you from falling. Keeping that hinged position, lower your leg and arm back to the starting position, and switch to your other leg.
Depending on your age and fitness level, you may want to start with varying balancing exercises. As you increase strength to the core, you'll find that you are able to complete more difficult routines easily.