Fitness Post – Exercising for Longevity

Inactivity kills. The Lancet Magazine recently published a paper on research done in England in 2010 where it was found that 5 million deaths in that country were caused by inactivity.

We lose 10% of our muscle weight every decade of our life beyond the age of 30 so we lose 40% of our lean body mass by the age of 70 if we don’t move…and this should be moving everyday! So let’s go through some of the other health issues if we don’t maintain our exercise habit as we age –

  1. The pronounced effect on the natural hormonal changes as we age.
  2. A dis-functional metabolism of protein.
  3. An increased loss of calcium.
  4. Neurological disfunction.

The Byproduct of an Increase in Activity. Along with inactivity you have to take into account the natural aging process and also incorrect eating habits but even if you increased activity by a mere 10%, if you looked at that population sample within the study 500,000 lives could have been saved. So exercise is one of the key factors here. Everyone should move everyday including the infirm and bedridden as this is a proven fact as an increase in longevity.

For those just before and over the age of 60. It would be hard to find someone who is perfectly healthy at this age as most suffer from High Blood Pressure, Arthritis, Overweight and Obesity and Lower Back Pain. At this age you should at least mobilize your joints everyday.

Mobilization Exercises. This type of exercise moves the synovial fluid within the joint capsules and keeps arthritis at bay. You should move even when you live with pain. Just be sensible about not overdoing the range of movements you make but take your movements to where you feel slight pain. Move through all plains of movement. Start by moving the periphery such as the shoulders and arms and feet and ankles by gently rotating them. Then gentle chest stretches and hip rotations. Then finally work the spine in forwards and backwards movements as well as rotating the spine when standing with gentle arm swings around the sagittal plane (parallel to the long axis of the body). These are all done with continuous movement.

Specific Stretches. Spine Rocking

Do this for 6 – 12 repetitions

Sphinx Pose

Hold for 30 seconds

Child’s Pose

Hold for 30 seconds

Supine Hip Extension

Do this exercise by moving up to this position then move back down to touch your bottom to the floor for 10 repetitions

Total Spine Stretches

Start by stretching the arms out only, then just the legs, then finally both arms and legs demonstrated in the photo above. Only hold these end-range positions for a second and complete 10 repetitions for each of the three movements.

In Conclusion. These are basic movements and really designed for people from the age of the mid-fifties and above but it doesn’t matter what age you are now, if you are immobile you can start with these. If you still feel sore two hours after the program , you have overdone it, so back off a bit. You will notice a marked improvement after three months. From then you can start more vigorous calisthenic movements.

If you wish to have a program specific to your needs you can contact me through this website. Each of these programs start at $50.

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