Jen’s Strength Plan (10 in 10)

As I approach 60 years old and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I am very committed to doing 10 intentional actions for about 10 minutes throughout my day to help with my overall strength and balance. About a year ago, I read about a 90-year-old gymnast. Amazed onlookers asked, “how are you doing gymnastics still? And she responded by simply saying, ‘I never stopped doing it!’ She inspired me to come up with my own regime that I want to never stop doing, too.

Here are my 10 exercises that I do throughout the day, which take about 10 minutes total. (Yes, I also do strength training and high intensity interval training two to three times a week, and cardio six days a week, whether its walking, rowing, biking, or a walk-jog).

1) one legged stand when I brush my teeth in the morning. I stand on my right leg for 30-60 seconds, then switch to the left leg and stand for another 30-60 seconds. (1-2 minutes)

2) Waiting for my hair to dry, so I will get the blood pumping and do 15 angled pushups. Most days, I will do 3 sets of 15 at a time. (1-2 minutes)

3) 45 Squats. Typically, these are done between my pushups, 3 sets of 15. (1-2 minutes)

4) As I’m waiting during a TV commercial or while I’m warming something up in the microwave, it’s easy to get in 40-80 sit-ups or abs. Typically, I do 10 jack knives, and then 20-30 bicycle crunches and 20-40 standing crunches. (1-2 minutes)

5) In the evening before or after dinner, I’ll just walk thru the house doing lunges, from 10-24 at a time, two to three sets. (1-1.5 minutes)

6) Bridges. These are harder to insert into my day, because it is floor work. This usually happens in the evening, when my Apple Watch is telling me to stand up and get out of the recliner. I’ll get on the floor and due 15 bridges at 3 seconds each, one to three sets. (1-3 minutes)

7) And if you’re already on the floor, might as well do some birddogs. Down on all fours, and just do a birddog, hold it for three to 10 seconds, or up to 30 seconds. (1-3 minutes)

8) When I go up and down the stairs, or there is a step that is easily available, I stretch and hold both my ankles down and stretch both calves for 30 to 60 seconds. (1 minute)

9) As you wrap up the day, I never miss doing the one leg stands again when I’m brushing my teeth before bedtime. (1 to 2 minutes) After a few days of these one leg stands, you’ll be astounded how quickly you can improve your balance.

10) To keep those pearly whites healthy, my dentist recommended to floss and use mouthwash every evening. While doing those two things, I knock out some calve raises. (30-45 seconds)

My hope is that you find these 10 exercises that take approximately 10 minutes throughout your day to be helpful in your journey of staying strong and healthy as you age. Recent research from Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles (NPR, 3/12/2024) indicated that women who did strength training 2-3 times per week had a 30% reduction in cardiovascular mortality versus others in the study. The research also found that strength training is good for bones, joints, mood, and metabolic health. However, only 1 in 5 women did regular weight training in the study, which included a total of 400,000 people. Let’s help increase that from 1 in 5 (20%) to more that 50%.

You know what to do: move and keep your body’s strength at a level to help you live and be active as you age. #JustGo #Wellness