After being forced to use “squatty potties” in China, I am reminded how important our leg and core muscles are as we age. What is a “squatty potty”? Use your imagination…but truthfully, it is a hole in the ground in place of a toilet. I was told about this prior to traveling to China, however, I thought it would be rare and only in rural areas. Not so much! They are the norm at large airports, restaurants and pretty much all public places. I now know why they use the term toilet, instead of restroom. A “squatty potty” leaves a lot to be desired in terms of “rest”. Thankfully, I have been in yoga teacher training for several months now and have gotten rather good at the chair pose. The chair pose is where you stand, squat down to mimic being in a chair and raise your arms above your head. It sounds rather easy, doesn’t it? It is, for about three seconds, but try to hold this pose longer. If you are like me, your legs will start to shake and quiver sooner than you ever imagined. It requires a great deal of balance as well. Trust me, you did not want to fall around the “squatty potty”. As a chiropractor, it amazed me how the elderly handled this situation, because many of my older patients really struggle to get out of the chairs in my office. But again, exercise is so important to the elderly in China. What muscles do you use to get out of a chair, out of the car or out of bed….your legs and core! These activities are absolutely necessary to stay independent and without assistance as we age. Practice the chair pose and try this exercise two times per day. Challenge yourself to improve your time in the chair position weekly. Can you work up to one full minute? Simply stand with your arms reaching overhead, close to your ears. Sit back just a few inches with your buttocks pushed slightly behind you and lower down. Hold this position as long as you can. Once you can hold this position for one minute, go lower in your squat. Go as low as you can to make the chair pose more challenging.