A strong core leads to life without limits

Get a strong core for healthy aging.
Get a strong core for healthy aging.

I include some core exercises every time I work out. It’s not that I particularly enjoy them (I don’t). Or that they feel good (they don’t). But a strong core means that my back doesn’t hurt as much – or at all. And a strong core means that I’m less apt to fall. A strong core means a happier me. Consequently, this means that improving core strength is crucial for healthy aging.

A few years ago I fell on an uneven sidewalk, triggering incredibly painful hip bursitis and sciatica. I couldn’t move normally for weeks, and needed physical therapy to get back to some activities I enjoy. As a result, while I was sidelined, I researched ways to prevent falls. I discovered that falling is a common problem with the elderly – fully 25% of people over 65 in the US fall and require medical assistance. With a little more research, I discovered that having a strong core is the solution to many ailments that prevent seniors from living a full and active life.

What is the core?

Your core is much more than your abdominal muscles – your “6-pack.” Sure, your core includes that, as well as everything else in your torso and further down, including your hips, lower back and backside. Stabilizing your pelvis and spine, helping your body maintain posture as well as keeping us mobile are just a part of what your core is used for. 35 different muscles in your core “keep you upright and strong.”

Your core helps balance

You know that I emphasize balance. (Get your Week of Balance for tips on improving your balance.) Your core helps to keep you upright and stable, which maintains your balance. And your core will help you navigate uneven surfaces. If your core is too weak, you won’t have a chance of adjusting your pace or posture.

Your core helps your posture

I see many older people with rounded spines who walk with canes. I want to walk upright. My core helps with that – it includes all the muscles that wrap around my spine. If those muscles are strong, they can hold me upright, even when I’m sitting. If I’m upright, my head is held high and my self-confidence grows. Likewise, if I’m upright, I’m breathing better. Try this: sit in a chair, pull in your stomach and sit up straight. And breathe normally for 10 seconds. Now slump – the way you usually do – and breathe. Harder, isn’t it?

Strong core for a strong back

Ever have sciatica? It hurts. A lot. Shooting pain from your lower back down your leg. And how’s your lower back? When you get up from a chair do you hang onto your back because it’s so painful? Strengthening your core will help you back. Just sucking in your stomach (practice this – it may take you a little while to get the hang of it) when you’re standing up really helps too. Try it: when you’re sitting in a chair and are getting ready to stand up – even if you’re using the chair arms or a table to hang onto for support – suck in your stomach, plant your feet and push off. Better, right?

Everyday activities

So, your core holds you up and it helps you get up. It stands to reason that a strong core will help you in all your daily activities. Getting into and out of a car, walking around a grocery store, bending to put groceries in your car and take them out. 

Strong core for healthy aging

Are you convinced that your core is the key to living a normal life without having to worry about falling? Without worrying about how to stand up from a chair? And without planning how to get in and out of your car? If I’m three rooms away and discover that I left my water glass in the kitchen – after I sat down, I just stand up and get it. Not thinking about how to do everyday things should not be a luxury. A strong core really does lead to life without limits. 

How to get one

So – how do you strengthen your core? You’re convinced that you need a strong core, but don’t know how to start? Good news – crunches are not mandatory, and neither are planks. These are two very effective exercises for strengthening your core muscles, but they’re certainly not the only ones. 

And if your doctor has told you that you should lose some weight – don’t wait to start strengthening your core. You do have muscles under there, so start working them.

Suck it in

Start with sitting in a chair and pulling in your stomach muscles. Hold it … for 15 seconds, release and do it again. And one more time.

Leg lift

Still sitting, with your stomach pulled in and not holding on if you don’t have to, raise one leg with the knee bent. Moderate speed, then put it down carefully. And the other leg. 12 times. 

If you can do this exercise with your leg straight, go for it.

Leg circle

Sitting or standing with your stomach sucked in, draw a half-circle on the floor with your toe, leg extended. If you’re standing, you can hang onto the back of a chair or the wall for balance. 8 each side.

Knee pull

Standing – you can hang onto the back of a chair or the wall for this – while your stomach is still sucked in, pull your knee up to your chest and put it down.

Balance exercises

All of the balance exercises in the Week of Balance utilize your core without your realizing it – take advantage of the benefits of these exercises.

That’s just a start – there are so many more core strengthening exercises. All to help your balance, posture, breathing, health. Get a strong core for your healthy aging.

How to prove that you’re amazing

You already know it deep down inside, but you can prove that you’re amazing. Sometimes as we go through our lives, the days run together and, while we keep plugging away at the tasks that will move us forward, sometimes it feels like we’re treading in place. We keep busy, keep doing things but at the end of the day it doesn’t feel like we’ve actually accomplished anything at all.

Goals – big and little

I’ve talked about the importance of setting goals for ourselves regardless of the stage of life we’re in. Working toward a goal every day helps keep us feeling productive. I’ve talked about setting that big goal and breaking it up into workable pieces. Those huge, pie-in-the-sky, goals are then reduced to things that we can get done every day. And by the deadline that we set, that big goal is achieved.

But in doing those smaller tasks we sometimes forget how they’ll move us forward. We don’t feel the incentive or motivation we should when we think about that big goal.

Modified bird-dog plank
Modified “Bird Dog” pose to work on improving my balance.

I test my own balance constantly and try difficult poses. (As we age, we lose our sense of balance unless we actively work on it. See my interview with Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director of the Center for Healthy Aging, about balance and preventing falls.) The “Bird Dog” is a plank exercise in which the opposite hand and foot are on the floor, the others extended. I certainly could not do that when I first started or for a long time after that. So I started on both knees with one arm extended, then both hands on the floor and one leg extended. Eventually I built up my strength and balance so that I was able to perform the full pose. But along the way I was discouraged by my lack of progress.

The Amazing Box

If you’re not seeing the progress you’d like, or if you’ve lost your motivation, it’s time to introduce the “Amazing Box.” This concept was introduced to me by Dr. Perpetua Neo,Doctor of Clinical Psychology.

Your Amazing Box - proof that you're amazing.
Your Amazing Box

The Amazing Box is your instant motivator. If you’re feeling down about the chances of your achieving your goals, it’s time to delve into your Amazing Box. You’ve broken down your “Big Goal” into more manageable chunks, right? Whenever you complete one of those chunks, write down your accomplishment and stick it in your Amazing Box. Or, if you like using digital tools like Google Keep or Evernote, type an entry. Color code your entry if you like! Pretty soon your Amazing Box will have loads of entries, proving that you are, in fact, amazing..

Congratulate yourself! Full plank with bird dog balance!
The Bird Dog plank balance.

My quest to do the full Bird Dog pose was before I learned about the Amazing Box. I could have written down each day’s achievement – like “I was able to hold the modified Bird Dog with my left leg extended for 15 seconds!” Or “I held the full Bird Dog pose for a nanosecond but tipped over onto my chin. I got back up and held it for a second!”

Track your progress in your Amazing Box. You’ll be astonished at how far you’ve come in your journey toward your goals.

Use your Amazing Box for other accomplishments too

So much of our day is spent on seemingly inconsequential tasks that take a great deal of time. Like repotting a plant. Or refilling soap dispensers and cleaning up the mess that inevitably ensues. Use your Amazing Box to brag about these accomplishments too. No one will see it but you, and if those darn soap dispensers make you crazy every time you refill them, you have every right to acknowledge your success in filling them.

Prove that you’re amazing

If you look at the obstacles in your way and feel that they’re insurmountable, look in your Amazing Box and think about the obstacles you’ve already overcome. Your Amazing Box gives you the momentum you need to keep going. The accomplishments you’ve identified in your Amazing Box will boost your optimism, your happiness and your resilience.

Whenever you’re feeling like time is escaping from you, or that you’re not good enough, or that you’ll never achieve anything, dip into your Amazing Box and see just how much you really have done. You have proof that you’re amazing!

Coping with anxiety in the real world

Like it or not, these are anxious times. We’re all dealing with anxiety. From millennials to Gen-Xers to us Baby Boomers. We all have to develop our own ways of coping with anxiety in the real world – our world. Your world is different than mine, so you have to find your own way of coping with your stress and anxiety.

Techniques for coping with anxiety

But, there are techniques that we can all use to cope with our separate anxieties. 

Experts tell us to be more mindful and that will help us cope with stress. But, what does that really mean?

Be mindful

Coping with anxiety in the real world means being mindful of the things around you.
Be mindful of the things around you.

Being mindful to me is to pay attention to the things around me. Inside – to my work, my family, my dogs. And outside – to traffic and sounds, of course, but also to the trees, the birds, the people walking.

Experts will tell you about meditation, breathing exercises and other techniques as they relate to mindfulness. But, for me, if I just take a breath, and try to remember all the joy in my own life, the anxieties of the real world kind of fade. They don’t go away altogether, which is OK – after all, we do live in the real world so it has to have a presence in my life – but the stress is manageable. I’ve also talked about how exercise helps me conquer my anxiety.

What can I really do

If I’m stressing about the situation in Ukraine, then taking a moment to focus on what’s really going around me will make me realize that I can’t stop the Russian forces on my own. That moment allows me to take a step back and focus on the steps I can actually take to help the Ukrainian people.

Coping with anxiety in my real world

If I’m stressing about something closer to home, then taking that moment lets me focus on the steps I can take to solve the problem. And if I can’t solve the problem myself, that moment lets me figure out who to ask to help me.

If you’re anxious and stressed, and if you can’t tune out the world for a moment, definitely try those techniques the experts recommend. But try to just … be … for a little while.

We can no longer skip blithely through life

As we age, it seems like everything requires a concerted effort. When we’re young, (or perhaps just in retrospect), we skip blithely through life. But now, no more skipping. If we’re concerned with healthy aging, we have to focus on our actions. 

The world is crazy

The world is a crazy place right now. The global pandemic is going strong. Global warming has caused famine in one part of the world, yet some do not believe that people have caused it. Many world economies are in trouble. There are supply chain issues and shortages all over. As a result, prices are skyrocketing. Media keeps blasting at us from every direction. To keep from going crazy ourselves, we must focus on our actions and on how we want to direct our lives.

Our metabolism isn’t the same as it used to be

My metabolism never allowed me to eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. I was a fat kid, started out a fat teenager but then really focused and lost weight. It’s been said that some people can actually eat anything up until the age of 40 or thereabouts, and then their body caught up. In order to stay at a healthy weight, even those lucky skinny youngsters had to watch their diet as middle aged adults. (Poetic justice?)

Focus on our actions for healthy aging

For healthy aging, we strive to preserve what we've got and improve what we can if we focus on our actions.
Preserve what we’ve got…

Part of healthy aging means that we have to preserve what we’ve got and improve what we can. Nature takes some things away from us as we age, like our hearing and eyesight. It also takes away muscle mass, bone density and our sense of balance. We can intentionally improve our muscle mass and bone density by doing weight-bearing and strength exercises. And we can improve our sense of balance by actively working at it. We can even improve our balance with just a couple of minutes of exercise a day. 

We all strive for healthy aging. If we focus on our actions, we can achieve it. So we may not be able to skip blithely through life, but we can still skip toward a better future.

After a hard year we’re more resilient than ever

This flower makes me optimistic, as it opens every year and shows that we're more resilient than ever.

We’re starting to see more and more people around town, and in stores, without masks on. I have to assume that they’re fully vaccinated. And while it’s weird seeing people’s faces after more than a year, I like it! I’m glad that we’re coming out of the pandemic. Hopefully we’ve all learned something about ourselves and the world. But mostly I’m glad that we’re all optimistically embracing the future and are more resilient than ever. (http://fitness-over-50.com/2020/03/increase-optimism-grow-resilience/)

Even in the darkest months of the virus-spread, people were learning things, becoming educated and more able to cope with the changing world. It hasn’t been easy. 

Shortages

We’ve had to cope with shortages, and learn to work around them. Like soap. Toilet paper is an essential as it is – there’s nothing to substitute. You’ve either got it or you don’t. We had to scrounge for a package here, a package there. And we’ve had to learn to use a little less. That’s a hardship. But soap. Around the house we have a couple of foaming hand soap dispensers in the kitchen and bathrooms. And we use the large-scale refills rather than buying new dispensers every time. But near the beginning of the pandemic, there was not a single foaming hand soap refill to be had, there were no dispensers either. So I found out how to make foaming hand soap with regular hand soap refills. (It’s actually not hard – 1 part soap refill to 4 parts water.) It’s not something I ever thought about before, but absolutely crucial. Who knew that a soap shortage would make me more resilient than ever?

Work from home

And we’ve had to deal with more technology than we expected too. Many of us had our very first Zoom experience during the pandemic. It’s been interesting being on the other side of the screen from someone just learning. “Do I push this? Click this? How do I turn the microphone on? Can you see me now?” We all learned, and my sister and I have decided to keep doing Zoom calls as an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family who live too far away to meet with in person. 

New hobbies?

Many people have begun new hobbies. I know we’ve certainly been cooking more for ourselves. We’ve tried new recipes. I even made pretzels. They were really good, even if they were more like rolls. Which makes me want to make pretzel rolls for sandwiches but without the salt! 

Learn new things

And we’ve all learned new things. About ourselves, about each other and the world. There was some bad stuff there, yes, but mostly we learned that given a chance, most people are good and want the best for others.

Letting our vulnerabilities show

And we’ve learned that we’re all vulnerable. We’ve seen it time and again through the pandemic. Everyone at least knows someone who lost a loved one to the virus. Two friends lost a parent. And letting others see our own vulnerabilities can be a good thing. We’ve all been scared. Of our own mortality, of the future’s uncertainty. We’re all in the same boat, trying to come out on the other side. And talking to each other about our fears and uncertainties only draws us closer together, and makes us more resilient than ever.

Tone your abs even when you’re not using them

I’m kind of a fanatic about ab exercises. I make sure to include some every time I do a workout. The reason? I want to avoid back pain. Yes, you need to tone your abs to help your back. If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you never want to again. It’s teary-eyed painful. You can’t sit. You can’t lie down. You can’t walk. Stairs are impossible. You can’t bend down. You’re just in agony. All the time. And once you experience back pain like I have, you’ll do just about anything to not experience it ever again. So that means that I include abdominal exercises in workouts. I talked about this a couple of years ago, and I still focus on the core.

Some of what I do

Tone your abs even on a stability ball

I do crunches on the floor. Crunches on a stability ball. I plank and modify those planks. I do renegade rows – planks with weights. Side planks. Pilates and yoga. I do boat poses and V-sits. You name it, I do it.

The benefits of ab exercises

I’m not into getting a six-pack. I’m 65 – I don’t need to show it off. (And I’ve never liked beer, except at Wrigley Field.) BUT I do want to make sure my back is strong. I also want to improve my balance and my stability. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I emphasize balance. We lose it as we age, which leads to falls, and that’s frightening. As we get older there are lots of things we lose and our sense of balance is one. But this is one we can actually do something about. Check out my free downloadable .pdf for your “Week of Balance.”

So, if you tone your abs you get benefits other than a strong core.

Other ways to tone your abs

But you don’t have to do actual abdominal exercises to tone your abs. 

Just pulling in your stomach is a start. Anytime, anywhere. Even sitting in your chair or lying in bed.  Think about it, and suck it in. You probably won’t see a difference if you only do this without doing any other ab exercise, but your stomach will get stronger.

You can also think about bracing your core – like feeling a vest tightening around your middle. This may take a bit of practice to engage the muscles, but keep at it. Be sure to breathe while you’re pulling in your stomach and bracing your core.

Happy toning! Remember – don’t tone your abs for your stomach – it’s for your back and all the rest of you.

Walk like a penguin?

You remember that old (1986!) song by the Bangles – “Walk Like An Egyptian.” The video showed performers doing fun, light steps, with straight legs at first, then a deep bend in the knee. Well, don’t do that in the winter. Instead, walk like a penguin to prevent falls! That’s the best way to keep your balance on slippery surfaces.

Freezing and melting and refreezing

This winter has been rough. Here in Chicagoland, February has been extremely cold and snowy – we’ve had about 30 inches of snow this month. But the last few days have been warmer, so there has been melting and refreezing. And those refrozen pavements are extremely slick. The last thing we want is to fall on the ice.

Penguins have it right

In winter time, walk like a penguin to prevent falls.

Think about a penguin’s anatomy – they have a very low center of gravity and their legs are short. When penguins walk they hold their wings out to the side. And they hardly ever slip on the ice and snow they live on. So, the best way to stay upright on slippery surfaces is to walk like a penguin:

  • Think “heavy.” We can’t do anything about where our actual center of gravity is, but focus your weight in your hips.
  • Keep your center of gravity directly over your feet. Don’t lean forward or back.
  • Don’t bend your knees much when you walk.
  • Take short steps.
  • Point your feet out a little bit.
  • Don’t transfer all of your weight to your front foot at once.
  • Go slow.
  • Hold your arms to the side.
  • Waddle – shift your weight side to side with the foot that that moves.

The Mayo Clinic even wrote that walking like a penguin is the best way to stay safe on ice: http://www.winmedical.org/press_room_article/walk-like-penguin-avoid-wintertime-slips-falls/

Every year the “memes” make the rounds of social media. But that’s because it’s good advice. So pay attention to those fun diagrams. And for more tips on preventing falls, see: http://fitness-over-50.com/2017/07/prevent-falls-my-interview-with-kathleen-cameron/

Be Bold – Be Optimistic

I’ve been writing about optimism quite a bit lately. Perhaps because the times we live in are so stressful, I feel the need to try to rise above the stress and bring others along with me. It’s natural to have down days as well as optimistic ones. And of course, things can happen throughout the day even if you start out optimistic to cause you to sit back and reflect, and possibly feel down. But that’s the easy route. Be bold – be optimistic. 

One chance

Be optimistic. Smile. Be grateful - you're alive.

The fact is, we only get one go-round in this life (that we know of). So I figure we might as well make the most of it. I’ve got enough wrinkles from my 65 years of living, I don’t have to manufacture more with frowning. When I feel down and recognize it, I try to bring myself out of the doldrums any way I can. Of course, sometimes I don’t recognize my bad moods and depressed thoughts, and it goes to others (mainly my sister) to figuratively slap me upside the head and take a look at myself and listen to what’s coming out of my mouth. Because when I’m feeling stressed, anxious and in a bad mood, I have the unfortunate tendency to take my bad mood out on others. Again, mainly my sister. For that, I sincerely apologize.

Smiles ahead

So how do you make a frown turn upside-down? Easy. Step one: just smile. Many times your thoughts go where your expression is. So if you’re feeling gloomy, put a huge smile on your face. Exaggerate it. Show lots of teeth. For five seconds. Not feeling so grouchy anymore, are you?

Move it

A great way to feel more optimistic is to move your body. This doesn’t have to be a full-fledged workout, although that is certain to do the trick, but if you get up and move to your favorite music, say, after a couple of tunes you’ll be on your way to optimism.

Exercise reduces bad moods and depression. That “exercise high” is not a myth! Regular exercise helps the brain produce a protein that seems to fortify parts of the hippocampus susceptible to depression, neuroscience has revealed. And Swedish researchers have found that exercise helps to keep your brain safe from harmful substances (one is called kynurenine) that build up during stress. Read more about how exercise will benefit you: http://fitness-over-50.com/2018/04/more-reasons-to-exercise/

Another great way to feel more optimistic (but perhaps not immediately) is to improve your diet. Research has shown that a cleaner diet kind of cleans out your brain too. So, cut back on the processed foods and eat more fruits and veggies. But watch the fruit because there’s a lot of sugar there. So eat more veggies.

Don’t think

Meditation has been shown to be a mood lifter too. You don’t have to be a serious yogi to meditate. Just find a comfortable position and clear your brain for a while. If clearing your brain is hard, you might want to try a guided meditation. And it doesn’t have to be long, either. As short a period as 3 minutes can make a huge difference.

Gravitate to Gratitude

Lastly, a sure-fire path to optimism and happiness is gratitude. You can have no place for unhappiness when you’re feeling grateful. And feeling grateful for something – anything – will set you far along on your path to happiness. It may seem too simple, but it’s true. Just by saying, “I’m grateful for the sunshine” will make my unhappiness go away? Perhaps not so easily, but you’re looking at the sun shining, squinting your eyes, and smiling, aren’t you? And smiling is a definite step to happiness.

And when you write down the things that you’re grateful for, when you journal your feelings of gratitude, your happiness will grow. Just the act of writing something down solidifies it. (That’s one reason we all took notes in class at school!) Of course, you can journal your gratitude on anything, but sometimes nothing comes immediately to mind. It’s OK if you have to look for things to be grateful for. Sometimes days are like that. So it’s helpful to have journaling prompts. This Gratitude and Happiness Journal not only has prompts, but also inspirational quotes to start you thinking along an optimistic path. 

So, be bold. Be optimistic. You’ll stand out, and everyone will think, “Wow, she always seems so happy. I want to be like her!”

Stress caused me to …

Watching this play out on a live stream!

This has been a difficult time for many of us Americans. A sitting president urged his followers to riot at the Capitol. Through the miracle of technology we saw the events unfold in real time. Barricades fell. Legislators, in the midst of one of the most important jobs in months, were forced to evacuate to safe locations. Rioters overtook the chamber and congressional offices. They vandalized offices, stole equipment and perhaps sensitive documents. People were killed in the melee.

I did not get much work done this last Wednesday afternoon.

Stress takes over

Like many others, my stomach was churning, my head was spinning. I knew I had to do something to reduce my own stress. There was nothing I could do at that moment to alleviate the situation, all I could do was make sure that I did not take my stress out on my family, friends or dogs. I sometimes lash out when I’m feeling stress. It’s not fair to my sister or my friends. And the dogs certainly do not understand. They pick up on stress and tend to act emotionally too. Simon will race around, doing laps around the dining room table and leaping from the kitchen chair, over his brothers to run around. Booker will claw at us, insisting on our complete attention. 

Step aerobics at my age?!?

So I did the hardest step workout I own. Now, at age 65, I won’t do a whole lot of jumping and the step is only at about 6 inches. I modified many of the high impact moves, but still got my heart rate up. Even though I modified the routines and made it more low-impact, it was very high intensity. And 45 minutes of intense cardio on a step is guaranteed to produce a lot of endorphins. (Thank you, Gin Miller!)

A great workout eliminates stress.

Intense physical exercise is a sure-fire way to release stress, burn a whole lot of calories, and leave me more even-tempered. I was much more able to face the rest of the world after that workout!

If you’re interested in step aerobics, check out some videos on YouTube before you invest in a step. For this type of exercise, you definitely need a step designed for it. Also, for those of us over 50, we may have knee and hip issues as well as other conditions, so check with your doctor before you start exercise, especially high impact and high intensity exercise.

And then calm…

And after that high-energy step workout, I did a short guided meditation to calm down. If you’ve heard of meditation and think that is something you’d like to try, there’s really no special equipment or background you need. Just sit comfortably and close your eyes. And then think of nothing. Clear your mind. If you have a hard time doing that, then a guided meditation can help.

I’m taking Nike’s slogan

Everyone recognizes Nike’s trademarked slogan, “Just do it!” But it has real meaning for me.

Lots of things I DON’T want to do

There are many things none of us wants to do on any given day. But in order to live with ourselves, we recognize that we just have to buckle down and “do it.” I don’t want to get up, but I have to take the dogs out or I’ll have a wet bed. So I do it. I don’t want to tackle the mess on my desk, but I have to or I won’t be able to find anything. So I’ll do it. I don’t want to face the crowds at the fruit market this afternoon in a mask, but we need stuff so I’ll just do it.

Cook?

I don’t want to actually cook meals, but they’re so much better, healthier and more affordable than anything out of a box or delivered, so I’ll do it. I made a dynamite soup on Saturday with sweet potatoes, chicken and swiss chard (that I should have taken pictures of ) that warmed us up on a raw, miserable day. And it was worth it.

So I remember those things as I stare at the piles on my desk as I write this. Now where’s that receipt from …

Working out

The same applies to working out.

I don’t like to work out. But I do it.

It’s become a habit. 

Samuel Johnson, the famous 18th century literary figure said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

What does that mean? 

Just do it! That applies to exercise.

We do something and do the same thing, and do it over and over again. That thing becomes a habit. And then when we decide to not do it, it’s practically impossible. Not doing that thing creates a hole in ourselves that we are compelled to fill with that thing. Not doing it will leave you with the feeling that something is missing for the rest of the day. 

It takes conscious effort to break a habit. And it’s not easy. It may be easier to develop a habit than to break one. (Not that you’d want to break the habit of exercising.)

So, exercising is a habit. It’s just something I do. Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. It doesn’t matter what I do during my workout. I just do it on those days. Even if I just have 20 minutes to devote to my workout. I make those the best 20 minutes of exercise that I can. But I do it.

Here are 4 ways that exercise can become a habit: http://fitness-over-50.com/2017/05/4-things-to-make-exercise-a-habit/