We know that exercise can increase muscle strength and decrease body fat when coupled with proper nutrition. Exercise also allows us to look good in a bathing suit, and feel better about our appearance. When we feel good about ourselves we tend to get out and socialize and move more, which are great for quality of life.
Muscles are the the organ of longevity, and if we don’t use them, we lose them. Keep your muscles healthy by moving them as much as possible throughout your day. Even while sitting watching TV, you can do movements such as slow squats to the couch, knee marches, leg lifts, etc.
“The key to moving better and feeling better is to move every day”
Muscles and Age
But as we age, appearance begins to take a back seat to functional movement. Suddenly as a senior we become worried when we can’t bend over to tie a shoe, or fear if we fall, we will not be able to get up off the floor. These are all valid concerns because science shows us:
- Older people with the highest loss of muscle strength were four times more likely to be disabled, have difficulty walking and need walkers or other mechanical devices to help them walk (Am J Epidemiol, 1998; 147(8):755–763).
- The average person loses about eight percent of muscle size in the decade between 40 and 50 years of age, and the rate of loss increases to 15 percent per decade after age 75 (J Am Geriatr Soc, March 2003;51(3):323-30).
- You can slow the loss of muscle fibers as you age and can enlarge the remaining muscle fibers by exercising against resistance, but you cannot increase the number of fibers once they are lost (The Journals of Gerontology, August 2012).
But not all is hopeless, we can improve our physical ability quite easily by moving more every day. Even better is to move every joint through the its natural range of motion. It isn’t hard, and the movements will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. Add in some resistance band work as your fitness levels improve and our muscle fibers can also enlarge.
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Quality of Life Improvements
Movement provides many physical characteristics that help improve the quality of life:
- Improve balance
- Improve gait
- Decrease chance of falling
- reduce joint pain
- Improve mobility
- Reduce chronic illness (Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke)
- Improve psychological health
- Reduce osteoporosis
- Improve vitality
Find 10-12 minutes in your day to perform basic movement patterns and you will feel better and move better.
Here is a 12 Minute video where the only equipment needed is you and a chair. What is stopping from you feeling better and moving better?