"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Simple exercises to strengthen your core.

Adding some easy movements to your each day routine can show you how to strengthen your core.

A robust core supports cardiovascular health by helping you stay energetic. First, many physical activities and sports rely upon a stable, flexible core, including cycling, golf, tennis and other racket sports, and swimming. Second, core exercises (if done frequently) may help prevent lower back pain, which affects 4 out of 5 Americans sooner or later of their lives. Back pain is one of the crucial common reasons people see a physician — and considered one of the largest reasons people don't exercise.

Simple options

However, some popular core exercises performed on the ground, equivalent to planks and crunches, might be too difficult for older people and those that are usually not very physically energetic. (Planks involve holding the “up” a part of a push-up, while crunches are variations of the setup.) But there are other ways to enhance your core strength that require you to land. wouldn’t have. “Any movement that requires you to control and stabilize your trunk while moving your legs or arms will train your core,” says L'Italien.

Check along with your doctor before starting a core exercise program if you happen to've had hip or back surgery or pain, or if you’ve got heart disease or one other chronic health condition. Two easy exercises, the chair stand and the standing side leg lift (see photos), are good options for those just starting out with core training.

Chair stand


Sit in a chair along with your feet hip-width apart, hands in your thighs. Tighten your abdominal muscles and hips. Stand up slowly, then sit down with control. Repeat 7 to 9 times.

Standing side leg lift

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Stand next to the chair holding the back along with your left hand. Balance your weight on each feet. Slowly raise your right leg until your foot is about six inches off the ground. Hold and return to the starting position. Repeat 7 to 9 times, then repeat with the left leg.

Lift this weight

To strengthen your entire core, L'Italien also recommends walking and carrying exercises (also generally known as load carries), wherein you hold a weight or other heavy object in a single or each hands as you walk. Walk for brief distances. “I like these exercises because they train your core well and they also mimic real-life activities, like carrying groceries or a basket of laundry,” he says. In fact, you should utilize them or similar objects as an alternative of dumbbells through the exercises.

Choosing the fitting weight is vital, says L'Italian. It must be heavy enough that you’re feeling you could brace your abs to remain stable, but not so heavy that you’re feeling any discomfort. Make sure your spine – including your neck – stays straight and also you don't bend or slouch forward, back or to at least one side.

For each of the three examples below, walk for 30 to 60 seconds, remembering to breathe and maintain tension in your abs as you progress. Lower the load and rest for at the least 30 seconds. Repeat the walk a few times more.

Carrying a laundry basket. Stand up straight and hold a dumbbell or a completely or partially filled laundry basket in front of your body, keeping your elbows and upper arms near your body.

Farmer's take. For this carry (so named since it mimics a farmer carrying milk buckets), you hold a dumbbell or a grocery bag in each hand along with your arms down at your sides. are

Carrying a suitcase. It's done like a farmer's carry, except you simply hold a weight or bag in a single hand while your other hand is free. Keeping all the load on one side forces your core muscles to work somewhat harder so that you don't slouch. Do two to a few walks with weights on either side.

Photo: © Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images; Exercise photos by Thomas MacDonald