How to Rejuvenate Your Legs

There’s some disagreement about when “older” happens but just about all the experts agree that after the age of 65, most people will experience shrinking muscles and those who haven’t been exercising will have muscles that shrink more than people who do exercise.

And, smaller muscles means less strength, quicker fatigue, less overall ability, and more fat on your body.

One of the reasons this happens is that the blood flow in your legs  slows. This in turn alters how your body uses certain hormones, like insulin, which in turn alters how your body builds and breaks down muscle.

I don’t know about you but I’m not too thrilled about losing muscle mass. Sure, I can be as vain as the next guy sometimes but really, I have a lot of things I like to do, want to do, and I need my muscles to do their job.

The good news is researchers have found that muscle building exercise age-reverses the blood flow in people of 65 years of age creating blood flow patterns of a 25 year old. The downside is that you have to work at it. It’s not a pill or a lotion or something someone can do to you. You have to make your muscles work and do it three times a week for five months to produce the changes.

To help you get started, here are three leg rejuvenating exercises. To do these, you should be able to squat on both legs without any pain in or around the joints in the back, hip, knee, or ankle.

  1. Squat – Freeze: Perform 5 squats without any extra weight than your body weight and then stop the motion when your knees reach about 90 degrees. Hold the squat position for 5 seconds then proceed right into the next series of squats again. Do this cycle 3 times for a total of 15 squats.
  2. Split Squat: Stand with one foot out in front of the other – about 12-18 inches. Squat down until your knee reaches about a 90 degree angle then return to the starting position. After 12 repetitions, your muscles should be moderately tired (so, you could possibly do 2-3 more reps). If not, hold a 10 lb dumbbell in one hand and try again. Rest for a minute and repeat two more times.
  3. Cycling Intervals:  Using a stationary bike, set the resistance to low. Pedal fast for 20 seconds then pedal slowly for 40 seconds. This is one interval. Do 10 intervals.

If exercise is new to you or you haven’t exercised in a while, consider a visit to a trainer or therapist and get some coaching first. That’s especially true if you have any kind of joint symptoms – aching, stiffness, pain, soreness, or swelling. The drills can be surprisingly difficult even without much weight. If these kinds of drills are new to you, try one set, two days a week with two days of rest in between for a couple of weeks and then add another set, etc. Ease into it and give your body time to adjust.

That’s all I have for now.

Thanks for reading.



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