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As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass, so strength training is important to maintain strength. Ideally, he should train all major muscle groups in his upper and lower body at least twice a week.

But experts say a series of squats is the most cost-effective option if you have time for just one exercise.

“Squats are the most important exercise for seniors,” says Eric Daw, personal trainer for seniors and founder of Omni-Fitt in Toronto, Canada. When you get in the car, it’s a squat. Every time you sit or stand, that’s a squat. If you don’t do them well, they affect the way you live. ”

Squats strengthen all muscle groups in your legs, including your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes, as well as your lower back and core muscles. These muscles underlie most activities of daily living, such as getting off the toilet, climbing stairs, and getting up from a chair.

Squats also protect joints, improve balance, and help prevent falls, says Denise Austin, health and fitness expert and creator of

“Squats are one of the best all-around exercises,” she says. “They strengthen the major muscles in her lower body that she needs to stay strong and protect two of her joints that need help on a regular basis: knees and hips.”

Studies show a link between strong leg muscles and longevity. One study that followed a healthy adult over the age of 70 for more than six years found that those with stronger quadriceps had a lower risk of early death. Another study found that the ability to sit on the floor and then stand up without using hands or knees could predict mortality.

Here’s how to get started with squats.

1. Get in place

If you’re new to squats, choose a location where you can hold onto a kitchen counter, table, or another stable surface. Having stability makes it easier to focus on form without worrying about balance, says Austin.

Spread your feet shoulder width or slightly wider. (If you have hip problems, it’s okay to move your feet slightly apart.) Point your toes slightly outward.

2. Squat

Keeping your back straight, push your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair with your chest up and your heels up.

When exercising, distribute your weight evenly across your feet and put most of your weight on your heels, not your toes, says Lori Michiel, founder of Lori Michiel Fitness, a home fitness specialist. please.

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