One of the biggest news stories in recent weeks has been the incredibly cold weather that a lot of the country has been experiencing. Snow, sleet, freezing temperatures . . . all of these can conspire against your fitness program, especially if you like to exercise outdoors, like me.

It’s so cold out that all we want to do is bundle up in front of the TV and wait for spring, right? But, getting and staying fit is even more important as we get older.

woman doing push-up I didn’t think my body would ever bounce back after I turned 50. By that milestone birthday, I was almost 15 pounds heavier than I am today at 58. I was depleted of energy. I felt less than happy with how I looked.

I was also worried about the likely health effects of a lifestyle that did not include regular exercise. Knowing I needed to get back on track, I consulted several exercise experts. Curiously enough, they all let me in on the same secret to becoming – and remaining – fit for life:

You can get your entire body in shape by doing just three exercises.

I was intrigued but filled with doubt: If these three moves really worked, why would anyone spend hundreds of dollars a year on trainers, gyms, exercise equipment and the like?

Empirical tiara perched atop my skeptical brain, I began my journey to a stronger, leaner, better body. Not only have I never looked back, but I’ve never had to look inside a gym!

Eight years later, I’m still doing these three exercises: push-ups for your arms, squats for your quads and glutes, and planks for your core. The result? By combining this daily exercise program with walking and running (and with a more healthful diet), I lost the weight I needed to – and I’ve kept it off. I dropped a pant size and managed to keep my already-troubling bone density from going any lower.

As part of the ongoing series I host for AARP’s YouTube Channel, here is the episode where I lay out the details of what I call my “Minimalist Program,” including demonstrations of each exercise. (Before starting any new fitness program, of course, it’s best to get the green light from your doctor.)

For more tips on living your best life, read The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More, and subscribe to The Best of Everything After 50 video series on AARP’s YouTube Channel.



Going to give this a try. Thanks!


The only problem is I cannot do either push-ups or plank due to ongoing shoulder and elbow problems! I do, however, lift free weights and that seems to work well for me! I keep various weights at home, just in case the weather prevents me going to the gym….

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