A few simple exercises can help make aging over 70 easier

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- At Alignment Beach in Ventura these woman are moving away from pain, heading toward fitter days.

Joan Virginia Allen climbs trees at 79. Lora Woods hikes the Sierras with a large backpack in rugged terrain at 75, while Shelah Wilgus is willingly without a car, walking everywhere without a struggle.

"The more you move the better you'll feel," said "nutritious movement" instructor Allen.

True, but easier said than done when you hurt. Author of eight nutritious movement books, Katy Bowman teamed up with these gals to write "Dynamic Aging." They are sharing their tools that help people move better and more often.

"For many people simply learning how to shift their weight off that painful toe they've been dealing with, that's instant. Figuring out a way to move in a way that doesn't overload that particular area," said Bowman.

The longer the inactivity the more muscles atrophy and joints and tendons stiffen.

If you find yourself sedentary, have foot problems, balance problems, maybe a weak lower body, you are at greater risk for injury and age does not have to come into that equation.

Here are simple moves you can take:

Stepping on a half foam roller not only stretches the calf, but strengthens the ankle and mimics an uphill climb for the foot.

This exercise done on all fours improves upper back or thoracic spine so that posture stays strong, supporting the neck and low back area.

Think about how you hold your phone. Rather than slump, Bowman says extend your arm to shoulder level, outstretched to keep pressure off the neck as well as strengthen arm and shoulder.

Since posture is erect there's less back strain too.

"As far away as those parts seem they're really only inches away from each other and they're all connected," Bowman said.

Trading in aches for activity takes a bit of time, but these women are proof small steps lead to greater gains.
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