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A 69-Year-Old Fitness Trainer Shares the 6 Exercises That Keep Her Looking Half Her Age

Boost your strength and fitness with a trainer's go-to exercises for healthy aging.

Aging gracefully requires following a well-rounded routine, complete with a healthy diet and regular exercise. You may think that getting older means it's too late to kickstart a fitness routine, but that's simply not the case. "It's never too late to begin exercising," stresses 69-year-old fitness trainer Liz Hilliard, the creator and owner of Hilliard Studio Method. "As a matter of fact, it's a requirement for healthy aging of your body and mind. Both are inseparable when it comes to the benefits of exercise." Hilliard shares with Eat This, Not That! a couple of her go-to fitness tips, along with the best exercises she recommends for healthy aging.

"My top fitness tips can be summed up in one word: MOVEMENT. As in, do not stop moving," Hilliard tells us. Her two pro tips include walking every day, anywhere you can. "Get outside as often as possible to walk in nature," she says. "Bonus points if you walk with a friend. It's built-in mental and physical therapy which will not only help keep you fit but keep your mood lifted and mind creative."

In addition, strength training four times a week is crucial. "Strength training is an absolute requirement for healthy aging and simply means load-bearing exercises that require your muscles to engage," Hilliard explains. "This can include anything from hand weights, resistance bands, weighted balls, or any weighted object that taxes and builds skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscle strength allows the body to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight while setting the body up for success when inevitable accidents happen, so you are far less likely to avoid falling and breaking bones."

Now that you know carving out time for cardio and strength training is key, read on to learn all about Hilliard's go-to exercises for healthy aging. "All of these exercises are Pilates-based and low-impact to increase your strength while maintaining a healthy cardiovascular level," Hilliard says. When you're finished reading, be sure to check out A 69-Year-Old Trainer Shares the 7 Fitness Habits That Keep Her Looking 25.


high plank

The plank is a classic exercise that's known to strengthen your entire core, resulting in improved spine strength and flatter abs. This move can be performed on your forearms (your elbows placed under your shoulders) or with straight arms (your hands placed below your shoulders). Be sure to engage your core the entire time you hold the position.

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illustration of pushups

The pushup is another exercise that puts your body's strength to the test. You can complete pushups with your legs straight or your knees on the ground.

"Never done a pushup? Begin by leaning against a wall at an angle with your hands slightly wider than your chest," Hilliard suggests. "Bend your elbows, taking your chest to elbow level to protect your shoulders while simultaneously strengthening them. A pushup is simply a moving plank that engages your core muscles and strengthens your upper body and back as well."

Bicep Curls with Squats

You can perform bicep curls with squats by using resistance bands or light hand weights. Begin by standing tall with your core activated. Then, bend both knees while pressing your hips back as if you're about to sit in a chair. Bend your elbows to perform a bicep curl as you press back up to standing.

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resistance band bent-over row

Rows are another exercise that can be completed with resistance bands or hand weights. "Stand with [your] core connected, hinging your body at the waist forward with weights or resistance bands in hand, then rowing from straight arms low to high by bending your elbows close to your side waist feeling the back muscles engage and strengthen," Hilliard instructs.

If you're working with resistance bands, stand evenly on top of them, and hold each end in your hands so you're able to control the amount of resistance used.

Triceps Dips

tricep dips illustration

This exercise uses gravity as resistance. Begin by sitting on the ground with your hands facing forward and placed just behind you. Activate your core to lift your buttocks off the ground, then bend and extend your elbows eight to 12 times to sculpt and strengthen your triceps. You can also do this exercise with your hands planted at the edge of the chair, workout bench, or a stable surface, with bent knees and your feet flat on the floor.

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Hip Lifts

glute bridge

Last but not least, it's time to work the hamstrings with hip lifts. "Lie flat on the floor with [your] knees bent and [your] feet under your knees," Hilliard instructs. "Engage your core with a slight pelvic tilt to lift your hips off the ground. Keeping your head and shoulders on the ground, lower and lift your hips eight to 12 times. Then, [hold] at the top, and do eight to 12 gentle tucks of the hips to fully engage the back of the legs and buttocks. To advance this hamstring exercise, lift one leg in the air keeping your hips level to focus on one leg at a time."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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