This last week I was on the phone with Lea Haben, Founder, CEO and publisher of SmartFem. I called to ask her thoughts on topics for my next couple of SmartFem articles and she simply responded, “We women want health and beauty tips. Holly, you’re 51, not 21. Whatever it is you are doing is working, give me a beauty tip of the week!”

Each week, I will share with you what I am doing to maintain inner and outer beauty. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned a lot about what really works – even if it might be a bit weird!

I often am asked about how I get maintain my motivation to exercise when I’ve dropped my fitness routine for a while. So for this first beauty tip of the week I am showing you what motivation techniques work for me!

As with everything else I do, I start slowly. I don’t like abrupt changes of any kind, particularly when they involve my body. And research supports this. As it turns out, after age 40, our joints, tendons and ligaments don’t have the lubrication and flexibility that they did in our 20’s and 30’s. So that means we literally have to ease into (or back into) exercise, and even when we do exercise, we now really need to warm-up.

We need to build a bit of heat in our muscles before we start increasing intensity. That means we have to walk a few minutes before breaking into a jog. We have to pedal slowly for a few minutes before pumping up the pace in a spin class. Just go easy, until you barely start to sweat, then your muscles will be prepared for more intensity.

That will help prevent injuries, and, I have found, it helps me mentally. I am not as resistant to exercising when I give myself permission to start slow, and just do what I can that day. Some days I am more energetic than others, and I don’t fight that anymore – I just try to move.

If I haven’t had exercise for a week or more, I don’t jump right back in to my old routines. I ease back into exercising by increasing my regular movement throughout the day. All those trite tips, like “park in the back of the parking lot” and “take the stairs instead of the elevator” really do work.

My heart is pumping harder after just a flight of stairs, I always pace when I am on the phone, I use my iPad at the kitchen counter so I can stand up. I look for opportunities to get off my butt and move at every opportunity. Studies have found that it is our everyday level of activity that ends up making the biggest impact on our health and fitness.

Bumping up ordinary activities, like walking to the corner grocery instead of driving, add up to better health and lower weight. On my recent weeklong trip to California, I only worked out once, but I was moving around a lot every day – I didn’t gain an ounce.

And that, is your beauty tip of the week. These simple changes in your routine can really increase your motivation for exercise and affect your inner and outer beauty in a positive way!

By the way, I gave myself a marvelous birthday gift for my 51st – I got rid of each pair of shoes that was not comfortable. You won’t want to move if your feet hurt!