15 Minute Workout
Stand up and reach your arms straight out to your sides. Bend your hands back at the wrists while simultaneously moving your arms behind you as far as they'll go. Hold for five counts, then bring your arms back in line with your torso. You may feel tension in your shoulders, forearms, and wrists, indicating you're stretching muscles needed for tasks as diverse as driving, typing, and hoisting heavy loads. Daily dose: One or two sets of ten.
With your feet hip-width apart, take a large step forward with your left foot. Plant the foot, then slowly bend the left knee to a 90-degree angle with your back knee lightly touching the ground. Push up with your front leg to return to the starting position, then repeat on the other side. Because exercising your leg muscles helps increase blood flow to the heart and forces it to work harder, lunges are a good part of a cardiovascular routine (and they can help prevent varicose veins!). Daily dose: Ten to 20 reps, alternating sides.
Cow and Cat
This yoga move helps ease lower back pain. Get down on your hands and knees, and arch your back into a U shape (the swayback of a cow); then do the reverse, rounding it to form a hump (the "cat"). Daily dose: One or two sets of ten.
Hold a two- to five-pound weight in one hand (a large can of soup will work), letting it rest near your thigh, then place the other hand on the seat of a chair in front of you and lean forward, knees slightly bent. Bend your elbow and lift the weight up toward your armpit, then lower it back down. This strengthens arm, shoulder, and midback muscles and helps combat osteoporosis-related bone-density loss by stimulating vertebral bone cell growth. Daily dose: One or two sets of ten on each side.
An alternative to sit-ups, this exercise strengthens the muscles that support your spine while giving you rock-hard abs. Lie on your stomach with your elbows on the floor in front of you, then slowly rise up onto your toes and straighten your body like a plank. Hold for ten to 20 counts, then lower yourself back down. Daily dose: One or two sets of ten.