This post is sponsored by P.volve. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The other day while hanging out in the kitchen discussing one of the many projects that need to get done for the house, Calvin remarked that my arms and legs looked leaner and my posture was much better than it used to be. He noticed I’m standing taller, shoulders back, no longer hunched forward in a protective stance. There are probably many reasons for this change, for one the world is beginning to open up again and consequently so am I, but it’s more likely that these results come from the program I’ve designed to increase the probability I’ll live functionally and vibrantly for the longest time I can; my definition of longevity. It’s not about years; it’s about quality of life and keeping your body and brain healthy and strong.
One thing that’s clear from the longevity research I’ve been reading is that diet, exercise and a cap on stress levels are the key ingredients for a healthy body and brain. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been eating a plant-based diet, doing yoga to alleviate stress, and using P.volve to take care of my fitness needs.
P.volve is a low-impact, high-intensity, a resistance-based fitness program that can be streamed from anywhere and done in the comfort of your own home. I especially love that P.volve teaches you to move your body the way it was meant to move as well as form-focused movements that are natural to your body and the actions it performs in everyday life. It’s a perfect fit with my new, more intentional, natural, and sustainable new/old life.
When I first started working with P.volve I had some individual sessions with a P.volve trainer who loves working with older clients, showed me the basic stances and how to use the equipment properly. I then moved on to the Foundational Program so I could master the fundamental moves. This is key and if you try P.volve, I’d recommend taking the practice time to get these right.
There’s also a wide range of programs and classes, for all fitness levels, beginner to advanced, ranging from whole-body workouts to those targeting specific areas, stretching and those not requiring equipment. Having a busy day? There’s a section called Quick Boost that has workouts you can do in 10-15 minutes. Unlike other more regimented programs, you have total control over what and how much you do which is a real selling point for me. There are also sections on Lifestyle and Nutrition that offer important information, tips, and recipes.
I asked my trainer to talk about the ways P.volve specifically meets the needs of older women and to explain how and why they do. An added bonus is that she gives some examples of exercises that illustrate the principles.
1. One of the most important things as we get older is to keep good posture and balance. Which exercises are most helpful in achieving this fitness goal?
There are many exercises at P.volve that work on posture and stability. For posture, it all starts with the mind/ body connection. Learning how to lift, reach and hold from our mid-backs and not from our shoulders is an important first step as well as stretching through the front of the chest. Our p.band is an amazing tool for activating the mid-back and helping to improve posture so I recommend looking into this piece of equipment and beginning with wide arm rows, focusing on pulling the band apart by squeezing the shoulder blades together while drawing the elbows out in line with the shoulders in what we call our “box” position.
For balance, our standing abdominal exercises work on core strength and stability both at the same time which is how we use our core muscles in everyday life. When the core is strong, one has an easier time balancing. Here are our Soccer Kick and 3’ Leg lift exercises:
Tap one toe straight forward, angling your hip bones up toward the ceiling and squeezing into your glutes while leaning back. Be sure to keep your ribcage hugged together in the front so you don’t sink into the lower back. Reach your arms and weights overhead with palms facing forward. Lift your front leg up while pressing your arms down, recruiting your abdominals and thighs, and also working on stability!
3’ Leg Lift
Stand with your feet parallel and shift your hips back so your knees bend right over your ankles. Tilt your upper body forward so your spine is in a diagonal from head to tail and gold onto a piece of furniture to steady yourself. Tap one foot straight out to the side with a pointed foot and lift and lower the leg, working your glutes and core.
2. Building and maintaining muscle mass is essential for living a longer life. How does P.volve work to support this?
P.volve works to support maintaining (and even increasing) muscle mass by increasing good stress on our muscles through resistance. Our exercises combine resistance-based equipment and work against the pull of gravity to counteract muscle loss through aging. We move in a controlled manner and execute exercises that require muscle endurance to become stronger and stable.
3. Since P.volve is low impact does it address our cardio needs?
P.volve offers Cardio Burn which increases the heart rate while still being joint-friendly. One of the great things about P.volve is that because we take the joints through dynamic ranges of motion which increases overall stability, strength, and function, people can add cardiovascular exercises due to building a strong foundation for the joints. This not only improves cardiovascular function but also helps build bone density. The classes are also offered with several modifications for clients who have difficulty jumping or moving at a faster pace.
4. Strength training has also been found to keep our brain healthy, how does P.volve make us stronger and encourage a mind/body connection?
P.volve requires focus and attention to detail by concentrating on the muscles that are used. The trainers cue precisely and draw clients’ attention to not only what the exercise is but how to do them to get the most benefit out of each movement. Our methodology and the way it is taught definitely increases body awareness and improves the mind-body connection so that members understand how to move with more effective and efficient alignment patterns both in and outside of class!
5. What would you say to women 60+ who haven’t worked out in a while about why P.volve is still a good fit for them?
Physical activity can help prevent many common diseases, decrease the risk of falls, help individuals reduce or eliminate pain in their bodies and improve mental health. The method is a good fit for women who are 60+ because it’s joint-friendly, low inflammatory, improves flexibility, and increases core and hip stability. I’d recommend they start with our Foundations classes which are accessible for individuals who haven’t worked out in a while but also provide a great challenge!
If you’re interested I’d recommend heading over to their site and checking it out for yourselves. There’s a free trial so you can explore the on-demand classes and range of programs. If you want to go ahead you can use the discount code LYN to get 10% off equipment. As always check in with your doctor before starting any exercise program, I did because I have a hip replacement. This hasn’t constrained me from doing the exercises and in fact, I’ve been able to strengthen the muscles around and open up my hips which will make my joint last longer. P.volve is designed in a way that minimizes risks and injuries so it’s a good fit for me at this time of life. I find myself concentrating on the movements and feel myself working my brain when I do. For someone who is still very engaged in life and all it has to offer, P.volve is my one-stop shop to keep my body running smoothly and efficiently; just like our new/old car.
What are you doing to keep your brain and body healthy?