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6 Quick Tips to Get You Moving at 50

6 Quick Tips to Get You Moving at 50

As a reformed couch potato, I understand when women at 50 say to me that they do not enjoy exercise or that they do not have the time to exercise. But I am no longer a couch potato, and I love nothing more than starting the day with a brisk run or walk. Not only am I exercising more and enjoying it, but I am sleeping better, have less night sweats, and have more energy in my day. I will share with you six tips that were instrumental in changing my life forever.

1. Buy exercise attire.

This is number one for a reason. Many women decide not to buy leggings or suitable comfortable walking clothes, as they feel it will be a waste of money. They theorize that it is best to wait and see how successful their new routine is, but this is counterintuitive.

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When you make a purchase of leggings and fitting tops, you are making a statement to yourself and everyone around you that you are serious about making a change. Having the correct attire gives you more freedom to walk in the park (no one wants to get their designer jeans dirtied on a muddy track) and less chance of falling if correct footwear is worn.

2. Wear the clothes.

Now that you have bought your purchases, be sure to wear them. Once you are dressed for the day, you will be less likely to change clothes to go for a walk. There is an enormous selection for stylish exercise gear. No more baggy tracksuit pants and lycra tops — simple, stylish exercise gear looks great with any morning coffee meet up.

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If you work in an office, try walking to work in your exercise gear or have the exercise attire with you when you go out for a walk at lunchtime. The slightest movement in the initial stages is better than nothing. Take walking shoes to work with you and go out at some point in the day even if it is for 10 minutes and gradually build time spent walking.

3. Have your walking shoes handy at the front door.

Do not keep the walking shoes tucked away in your cupboard. Have an area at the front, or the back door of your home, to store your new shoes. This way whenever you leave you are looking at the shoes and remind you of their existence.

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4. Keep hydrated.

Tiredness is often due to dehydration. Do not confuse this with having no energy in your day to exercise. When you next feel that you should be going out for a walk, but may be feeling too tired to do so, go and have a big glass of water, and see if that puts the pep in your step that you need.

5. Team up with a friend.

Team up with a friend, or a couple of friends, and make a set date and time for your walks. Set a limit that is suitable for all and stick to it. Having someone accountable to walk with is a great trick to get you on your way and to monitor your progress.

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6. Visualize.

Christopher Reeve, tragically made a quadriplegic, used to say that when he dreamed at night, he always saw himself as able-bodied and free — never in his wheelchair. When asked him if that made him feel saddened when he woke up, he said that actually, it spurred him on. It buoyed his spirits to dream about what was currently impossible.

What an inspiration! Another quote from Christopher was, “Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t sell out.”

This are the words I often repeat to myself when I am lying in bed and pondering should I go out for my morning run. I then think of Christopher Reeve and his yearning to have the mobility that we all take for granted. That does the trick and I am up and dressed in my attire for a run.

Whatever exercise you do, try and push yourself that little bit further to get moving. If it is just 10 minutes a day, see if you can do an extra 10 minutes a week. Be thankful and work with your body, and your body will work for you.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2020

10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

Are you having a hard time going to the gym for strength and conditioning? Do you want to work on your lower body strength but aren’t sure where to start? In this article, we’ll be breaking down 10 lower body workouts anyone can try at home. No gear is needed for these workouts, just some space and a bottle of water waiting nearby.

What Do Lower Body Workouts Target?

When you tackle a lower body workout, you’ll be focusing mostly on leg workouts that strengthen your thighs and calves

.

However, a lower body workout can also be great for strengthening your hips, glutes, and core, as well as stabilizing your knee and ankle joints[1].

Major muscle groups for lower body workout

    Building lower body strength is key to helping you move through your day without pain and stiffness[2]. It can also help you achieve your other workout goals.

    Do you want to train for a marathon? You’ll definitely need to build up your leg muscles. Do you want to start endurance training? It’s hard to do if your legs and glutes get tired before your heart rate goes up.

    To get started, try a lower body workout from the list below.

    10 Great Lower Body Workouts

    This will give you an overview of some workout combinations that will help you build lower body strength using your own body weight. In the next section, we’ll go deeper and give you an overview of each major exercise.

    1. The Starter Workout

    3 sets of 8-12 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 2 min rest between each set)

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    2. The 7-Minute Workout

    3 rounds of 30 seconds of each exercise:

    • Walking Lunges
    • Quarter Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (1 min rest between each round)

    3. The Unilateral Workout

    4 sets of 16 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunges
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Skater Squat
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 1 min rest between each set)

    4. The Endurance Workout

    2 sets of 20-50 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (1-2 min rest between each set)

    5. The Back-to-Back Lower Body Workout

    5 rounds of 10 to 20 seconds of each exercise:

    • Skater Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (30 min rest between each round)

    6. Strength Lower Body Workout

    5 to 10 sets of 4 reps of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Squat

    (30 sec to 2 mins of rest time between sets)

    7. Glute Burner Workout

    4 sets of 10-30 reps of:

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    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (1 min of rest time between sets)

    8. The Advanced Lower Body Workout

    3 rounds of 20 seconds of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Skater Squat
    • Reverse Lunge
    • Glute Bridge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (2 mins of rest time between sets)

    9. The Quick Lower Body Workout

    2 sets of 10 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunge
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    10. The 100 Repetition Challenge

    2 sets of 50 reps on each leg of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (4 mins of rest time between sets)

    Lower Body Workout Exercise Breakdown

    Here’s the breakdown of the lower body exercises[3] that you found in the workouts listed above.

    1. Squat

    Squat
      A squat is a compound movement which uses the major muscle groups of the lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors).
      How to Do a Squat

      Place feet hip-width apart or a little wider. Your toes should be pointed slightly out, arms out in front of you. Sit into your heels until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through the heels, return to the starting position, and repeat.

      2. Walking Lunges

      Walking lunge for lower body workout

        A lunge is a complex movement that focuses mostly on thigh and knee strength, but it also gets into the glutes and core.

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        The walking lunges are a harder version of a split squat, which is stationary. It then adds the component of stepping and keeping balance, which engages the gluteus medius, as well as allowing a larger range of motion.

        3. Reverse Lunge

        Reverse lunge

          A reverse lunge is very similar to the split squat, but instead, after every rep, you are returning to the starting position and stepping back.

          By reverse stepping, you are allowing for more emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as opposed to the quadriceps muscles in a forward stepping lunge.

          4. Quarter Squat

          Quarter squat for lower body workout

            A quarter squat is the top ¼ movement of a squat. This will work mainly the gluteal muscles as it emphasizes the hip extension and not a lot of range of motion on the quadriceps.

            5. Skater Squat

            Skater squat

              A skater squat is a unilateral variation of the squat, this squat really engages the gluteus medius and hamstrings as it works unilateral stability and hip flexion, which fires up both the hamstrings and glutes.

              6. Step up

              Step up for lower body workout

                The step up is the greatest balance of getting the glutes and quadriceps muscles firing. Doing steps up during a lower body workout will not only get the glutes going, but the quadriceps as well.

                7. Glute Bridge

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                Glute bridge

                  Glute bridges are a great way to nearly isolate the glutes and build a great butt. This entire movement works through hip extension, which the main movement of the gluteal muscles.

                  8. Single Leg Glute Bridge

                  Single leg glute bridge for lower body workout

                    Single leg glute bridge ensures that we are evenly building the glutes and not relying too heavily on our dominant leg and symmetrical butt.

                    9. Single Leg Deadlift

                    Single leg deadlift

                      Single leg deadlifts engage the entire booty and hamstrings, especially the gluteus medius due to its unilateral stability property. This is a great way to spice up some routine deadlifts and engage the core while you’re at it.

                      Before and After Working Out

                      Before engaging in any physical activity, consult a doctor if you have not worked out in years. However, if you want to go at it without consulting a doctor, start slow and build your way up.

                      Even if you’re doing an at-home workout, use dynamic stretching or some light jogging[4] as a warm up before starting the lower body workouts.

                      Try these quad stretches to get started:

                      Finally, at the end of the lower body workout, use static stretching to reduce injuries and to calm down your heart rate gradually.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Completing a lower body workout can help you look and feel great, but it can also help you engage more fully with your daily activities and keep you healthier in the long run. Get started with any of the above exercises today.

                      More on Strengthening the Lower Body

                      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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