Strong bones are important at any age, but even more so in middle age. Bone density peaks at age 30 and then starts to drop.
The good news is that exercise, particularly strength training, can slow this process down.
This 15-minute routine helps build and maintain bone and muscle, and increases your metabolism.
Do it 2–3 times a week. Use 5- to 8-pound dumbbells, then increase to 8–10 pounds as you get stronger. Rest for 1 minute between moves.
For chest, abs, lower back, butt, hamstrings
Sit on exercise ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Walk feet forward and roll ball back until just your shoulders are supported and knees are bent.
Keeping hips lifted, open arms out to the sides, then bend elbows to lift weights up, palms facing in.
Straighten arms and press weights up, bringing ends together; lower weights. Do 10 reps.
One-legged wall squats
For quads, butt, hamstrings, abs
Stand with exercise ball pressed between lower back and wall, and feet 1 1/2 feet in front of your body, hip-width apart. Straighten right leg so your foot is about 6 inches off the floor.
Bend left knee and lower into a squat.
Straighten leg to return to standing, then lower foot to the floor; repeat on opposite side to complete the rep. Do 8 reps.
For shoulders, back, butt, hamstrings
Start in plank position with exercise ball under stomach and hips.
Feet should be shoulder-width apart, hands pressed into floor directly under shoulders.
Raise right arm forward until it’s up by your ear.
At the same time, lift left foot until leg is in line with your torso. Lower hand and foot to the floor, then repeat on opposite side to complete the rep. Do 10 reps.
Lie on your back with your legs pressed together, knees bent, and shins parallel to the floor. Extend your arms toward the ceiling.
Bring your right arm overhead and lower your left leg so that each hovers about 6 inches off the floor.
Return to starting position, then repeat on the opposite side to complete the rep. Do 8 reps.