This post is about strength. Strength is important. Strength is SO often forgotten in place of the need to stretch!
How many times have you been in the garden for a few hours or been doing DIY and the next day you are struggling to move? Often I ask people how they have prepared themselves for this amount of bending or DIY under load and they look at me as if I am mad! They then tell me that they sit at a desk all day and all week.
To enable our bodies to cope with bending for an extended period of time, lift things that we are not used to or even to bend and reach in a new way…. we NEED to have the capacity in our body to cope this. Claire Minshull had a lovely way of describing ‘capacity’ and she compared it to a fuel tank. She said that if your fuel tank is full, you should have good power, but if it is almost empty, you may well struggle to do pretty basic things.
Capacity is strength!
Capacity gives you more endurance.
Capacity helps you to do more.
Stretching will help you to move better to new places, BUT it will not give you more capacity to lift and bend in a sustained way. It not give you more endurance. STRENGTH or increased capacity will.
As we beautifully age…. and become less active, many of us get Sarcopenia.
The definition of Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing. The main reason for this outside illness is living a sedentary lifestyle which many of us have. We do more sitting and generally do less. Getting little or no physical activity on a regular basis puts people at an increased risk of developing sarcopenia as they age.
Can we do something about us having or getting sarcopenia? Yes!!
There is an important correlation between inactivity and loss of muscle mass and strength. This suggests that physical activity should be a protective factor for the prevention but also the management of sarcopenia. It gives you greater control and will be protective against things like falling.
As you get stronger, the stairs become easier, getting up from a chair is so much easier, as is getting off the loo or up off the floor.
So, if you are tending to be very sedentary or struggling to get the motivation to do more to help your self, get some advice of how to get moving more and maybe even to start to add load to your system to keep your muscles and bones strong. It is great for the health of our bodies and helps with longevity.
See below. The picture at the top is a fit 40 year old. The picture at the bottom is a fit and strong 70 year old. Then picture in the middle is a normal 74 year old. One that does very little. Probably watches a lot of TV and reads a lot. You can see the massive muscle wasting and this has been replaced by fat. The middle man is not fat. He just has much less muscle mass. So he will struggle to do much. Stairs will be hard and so will getting up from a chair.
You don’t have to go to the gym for hours to achieve this. But you do need to challenge your bodies a bit. Starting gradually and build. Start with longer walks and then walks up and down hills. If you are unsure about this, get advice from a medical professional.
It is all about choices. But this is one choice that most of us can make with a positive end result.
If you want some help with this, call the team at Back to Back on
020 8605 2323.
Keep fit and well and STRONG.