Fitness Plan: Combine Strength with Balance and Stability

When people think about getting healthy, they tend to focus on cardiovascular exercise (like walking or jogging) and on healthier eating. Those are important — but if you overlook strength training and balance and stability exercise, it can reduce your overall progress and lead to difficulties down the road.

On average, people lose between 3 and 5 percent of their lean muscle mass each decade after the age of 30. This can decrease functionality, reduce metabolism and contribute to chronic health conditions. The good news is that by incorporating strength and balance training into your routine, you can reduce or even prevent such loss and improve your overall health.

Check out this month’s fitness plan for a full schedule of strength and balance exercises. Our video will walk you through each exercise, and we’ve also added a few tips below:

Balance and Stability Workout

For the balance and stability workout, perform 12-20 repetitions, 2-3 sets as tolerated.

  1. Single-Leg Bench Squat. Tip: Make sure foot on the ground is far enough in front of you so that when you squat down your knee does not go in front of your ankle.
  2. Push-up to Side Plank. Tip: Hold each side plank position for 3 seconds.
  3. Stability Ball Shoulder Press. Tip: Pick a stability ball that allows you to sit with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Elbow to Hand Plank. Tip: Hold each position for 5 seconds.

Strength Exercises

Complete each strength exercise for 8-12 repetitions, 3-5 sets as tolerated.

  1. Squat-Curl-Press. Tip: Select a dumbbell that allows you to achieve the desired reps. In squat position, make sure your knees do not come over your ankles. Keep your core tight as you do the press.
  2. Renegade Row. Tip: Make sure to keep your core tight for proper posture.
  3. Medicine Ball V-Ups. Tip: Use your core to raise your torso and legs at the same time and hold the position for 1-2 seconds. If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can use any type of weight that you can hold stable between your hands.
  4. Fly-Row-Press. Tip: Match the positioning of the dumbbells in the video, and be sure to keep your core tight as you do the press.

Healthy Eating: MyPlate

A healthy eating style includes choosing from a variety of foods to get the nutrients and calories you need — in the right proportions. Healthy eating can help you keep your weight in a healthy range and also help reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

But planning and preparing healthy meals can feel overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. What if I told you there was a tool you could use to help reduce the stress of cooking and ensure that you and your family are getting adequate nutrition? Well — there is! MyPlate is a food guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture that gives you an easy, visual reminder of how to build a healthy plate at every meal.

ChooseMyPlate.gov

A well-balanced, nutritious meal should match the proportions of MyPlate’s five food groups: fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy products, and grains. It is also important to consume whole fruits and a variety of vegetables, make half your grains whole grains, choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and select lean sources of protein for an overall healthy diet.

You can read more about MyPlate in our previous blog article (or una version en Espanol). For immediate help making your plate match MyPlate’s guidelines, click any of the recipes below, or download our Eat for Health guide, which includes all of the recipes, a meal plan and a grocery list in one convenient place!

Recipes

Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwich

Green Smoothie

 

Shrimp Fajitas with Plantain Chips

Spicy Tuna Wraps

Steak Salad