Prioritizing Muscular Health for an Active Senior Life

Healthy and Active Lifestyle

Can you Stand up with no Hands?

Have you needed help getting up off the floor or chair once you have sat on it? This is a warning to many seniors that they may not be as healthy as they think. If you cannot get up off the floor without using your hands for support or without the help of your grandchildren, studies show that you could be heading for an early grave. Worried? Well, read on and find some informative information we gleaned from recent medical research.

The Sitting-Rising Study

A study was carried out by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, at the Clinimex-Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro where he and his team found that if a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand – or without the help of a hand – they have higher muscular skeletal fitness and this, in turn, reduces the risk of premature death. The study involved more than 2000 seniors aged 51 to 80. These seniors were asked to sit on the floor and rise unaided from their positions. The same seniors were followed until their death or for 6.3 years. Each participant was scored on their abilities on a scale of five and a point was subtracted when they used any form of aid when getting up off the floor.

According to the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, during this time, there were 159 participant deaths. This is a death rate of approximately 8%. It was clear, except for two deaths that occurred in participants with perfect test scores, the majority of deaths were from participants who received low test scores. Based on this and the age, gender and body mass index of the participants the researchers gathered that the sitting-rising test was a perfect predictor of the likelihood of early death in low test-scorers. Dr. Araujo claimed, “the studies showed that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio, and coordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”

The Importance of Long-Term Fitness Goals

It is clear that as we age, we will find more and more reasons why the functional movement is necessary, not only to increase life expectancy but to increase the overall quality of life. If you are not all that enthusiastic about exercising, you should consider beginning now. Exercise is the best way of ensuring you stay healthy and fit and live longer. Exercise can be in any form suitable to you. If you lack the time to exercise for 40 minutes at a go, consider doing so in 10 or 15-minute intervals during the day. Getting your heart pumping and letting the blood flow increases your flexibility, as well as, blood circulation, which prevents all sorts of diseases and age-related problems. Keep in mind, exercise should be a long-term fitness goal and not something that should be considered once in six months.

If you wish to live a life free of diseases for a long time, consider eating the right foods and exercising for three to four days a week. Practice sitting on the floor and try getting up without using any aid. Although you may not be able to do this at once, with patience, exercise and practice, you will be able to do so in no time! If you are interested in receiving more of such interesting stories, stay tuned to our Active Adult Living Newsletter with over 30,000 subscribers. Visit our website as well as our ActiveAdultLiving Facebook page for more updates and alerts of posts and news.

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