6 Weeks to a Younger You: Week 4

August 31, 2011 at 7:05 am , by

Weights 3Do you feel younger yet? We’re in week four of our six-week push to a younger you, and we have weighty matters to discuss!

In previous weeks, we’ve been challenging ourselves to move more by measuring our steps with a pedometer and getting our heart rate up with some interval training. That’s great, but we’ve got to add in some resistance exercise to keep our bones strong and build lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn!

That’s why I keep these six-pound hand weights in my bedroom. I can do my bicep curls and squats while watching how well the new celebs cha-cha and samba on this season’s Dancing With the Stars. (I’ll be rooting for Chaz Bono, and let’s face it: he needs to shape up a little.) Or I can go out on my terrace in the gorgeous morning light and knock out three reps of 10s before the coffee has dripped. Join me! See four easy exercises here.

You know when celebrities shape up for an action movie and talk about their regimen? They always say they cut back on carbs and pump up the lean protein. A lot of women normally do the opposite. This week, try to get some protein at every meal. That could be eggs or Greek yogurt for breakfast, a big salad with  chicken or tofu and a sprinkle of cheese for lunch and some lovely grilled fish for dinner, for example. If you’re vegetarian, it can be harder to get enough, so you should pay even more attention to your  intake. Try to eat 120 to 140 grams of protein a day. Here’s a good chart to help you figure out how to get there.

We’re still cleaning up here in the Northeast from hurricane Irene, and almost everyone I know is sleep deprived right now. You may be, too, even if your weather has been perfect. Most American women don’t get nearly enough shut-eye to keep their brains in good working order. Make it a priority this week. Wind down early, avoid caffeine and alcohol, keep the room cool and dark and aim for at least seven hours. I co-wrote a sleep book just for women (with author Ellen Michaud; you can  buy it here). It’s full of great tips—best book I’ve ever read on the subject!

Ladies’ Home Journal truly believes in the power of doing good. Turns out, if you help others, it makes you feel younger, too! We have lots of good resources to get you started. Cheers to a younger you!

Photo by Stella Capuano