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4 Key Reasons Why Mobility and Longevity Are Connected

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12 Minute Mobility Workout | Good Moves | Well+Good

TonWhile cardio and popular fitness metrics like balance and grip strength are often touted as keys to extending life, there’s one oft-overlooked metric that underscores all of the above: flexibility. If you don’t maintain your mobility, which simply refers to your joint’s ability to reach its full range of motion, you’ll find it much harder to maintain a cardio or strength training regimen without injury and get all the benefits of it . In addition to these physical health benefits, the effects of maintaining mobility as you age also promote mental and emotional health as you age.

Over the years, science has shown that people who exercise regularly — taking 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day (or the equivalent of 30 to 45 minutes of exercise) — live longer than people who don’t exercise, and that insufficient physical activity increases mortality.But more recently, there has been growing evidence of how much negative impact there is Do not move Also can.

“People are realizing that prolonged periods of inactivity can almost negate the beneficial effects of doing some exercise.” —Joe Verghese, MD, neurologist

“The shift in mobility was sedentary, and now people are realizing that prolonged inactivity almost cancels out the beneficial effects of exercise,” said neuroscientist Joe Verghese, MD, head of Cognitive’s integrative unit. With Albert Ein Exercise Aging at Stein School of Medicine.

In fact, a recent study involving 3,700 people who wore activity trackers for a week found that those who exercised 30 minutes a day and sat for more than 10 to 12 hours had significantly lower measures of cardiometabolic fitness than those who did similar exercises30 minutes, but also stand up or walk around throughout the day, doing what the researchers call “light activity.”In conclusion, staying active with age may extend lifespan through two broad channels: the health benefits gained through activity and the health damage avoided through activity no Yes, um, Do not move.

Below, experts break down how these links arise, especially with age.

4 Ways Maintaining Fluidity Can Extend Life

1. It keeps you *safely* active (lower risk of falling)

Falls are the leading cause of death for people aged 65 and older – people with reduced mobility are at increased risk of falls. By contrast, maintaining your maneuverability and the full range of motion it requires allows you to navigate uneven surfaces, door sills, and other common trip hazards more efficiently. This, in turn, reduces your risk of falls and injuries that can affect your life.

However, the thorny paradox of fall prevention in older adults is that if someone already have mobility problems or limitations, and doing mobility exercises or just moving in the form of walking may make them more There is a risk of falling (like, say, sitting in bed all day).

“Slow gait and dragging feet [which are more common in the elderly and in folks with cognitive decline] It’s really a predictor of falls,” said Dr. Janet Mahoney, associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “So, if a person is walking slowly or has an unsteady gait, telling them to walk more for mobility is actually It may put them at greater risk of falls and death. (This is why many hospitals actually immobilize older patients, despite the well-known downsides of doing so.)

Therefore, gaining liquidity requires work before restricting development. Or, if you already have mobility issues, that could mean doing exercises like wall push-ups, squats, or even just walking under the direction of a medical professional, or using assistive devices like canes or walkers, says Physician Michael Roizen of Internal Medicine ,Medical PhD, Big Era Reboot. “However, no matter how old they are, people Yes Being able to increase their strength, and thus their mobility, is a very rewarding thing. “

Once you’re more active, you can walk more (and safer), which leads to many longevity-boosting benefits, from improved cardiovascular health to support of metabolic activity and improved mood. Even a little walking can go a long way with age, according to recent research: A study that followed more than 7,000 people 85 and older for several years found that those who walked at least an hour a week (only 10 minutes a day on average) had a 40% lower risk of death than their inactive counterparts.

2. It Helps Prevent Weakness

Although it has different characteristics, the concept of frailty usually refers to an “accelerated decline in physiological reserves” – which is the medical term for several of the body’s systems becoming weak or dysfunctional, so that even a mild infection, a fall, Or injury can also become difficult to recover. “This is often seen in people who walk slowly, lose muscle strength, and become less active, and it has to do with us being more susceptible to the everyday stressors we encounter in our environment,” Dr. Verghese said. “You can do this by More activity to build a cushion against weakness, as this helps maintain muscle strength.”

“You can build a buffer against fragility by improving mobility.” – Dr. Virghese

Preventing frailty has downstream effects on many other body systems. “When you put pressure on the muscle, you improve the function of the blood vessels, which expand and contract better,” Dr. Roizen said. “It also allows your heart to respond more efficiently to stressful events, which means you’re better able to tolerate the occurrence of a rapid heart rate.”

Giving muscles a full range of motion also increases lung capacity, improves blood flow to the brain, and supports bone health, Dr. Verghese said. All of the above can enhance the body’s ability to fight signs of vulnerability common to aging, thereby extending lifespan.

3. Improve cognitive function

Over the years, researchers have been accumulating evidence that aerobic exercise, even including light to moderate physical activity, can reduce a person’s risk of cognitive decline and dementia — which in turn can help them live longer. A recent study that followed around 80,000 participants in the UK Biobank for seven years found that the benefits even extended to walking: those who walked less than 10,000 steps a day cut their risk of dementia by 50%. All of this provides another compelling argument for maintaining mobility — in this case, as a way to protect the brain.

Much of this mobility-cognitive connection may be related to the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory and spatial navigation, and has been shown to be smaller in people with slower gaits and Cognitive decline. On the other hand, walking and aerobic exercise may actually increase the size of the hippocampus, according to studies of people with multiple sclerosis and older adults with mild cognitive impairment. As for how? This may be thanks to a special hormone called irisin released during exercise.

“When you put stress on a muscle — for example, when you walk — you turn on a gene that makes irisin, which then crosses the blood-brain barrier, which itself turns on another that makes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene., which causes the hippocampus, or the brain’s memory center, to grow,” said Dr. Roizen. The result is the unique brain support benefit of moving your body, which will also keep you doing it throughout your life.

4. It improves the quality of life and relationships

When you’re more flexible, you’re more likely to be away from home and not at home, all of which can support emotional health, says Dr. Mahoney.

Being able to move around carefree not only gives you independence and freedom, but it also increases your likelihood of connecting with your local community and maintaining friendships and other social connections – all of which can help you maintain a purpose in life that promotes your happiness.By contrast, a 2013 study of about 700 older adults found that people with reduced mobility less They are more likely to be socially engaged than highly mobile people, making them more vulnerable to the depressive effects of social isolation than more mobile people.

“The interconnectedness between being mobile, being independent, keeping your brain active and meeting others is what promotes healthy lifestyles in older adults,” said Dr. Mahoney. “All of these aspects play an important role in a person’s continued willingness to live, which is a key factor in longevity.”

How to maintain mobility as you age

In addition to regular walking (which Dr. Roizen says is one of the best mobility exercises), he recommends practicing some combination of lunges, squats, and wall pushups in your fitness program. But even outside of your regular workouts, there’s a deceptively simple way to test your flexibility every time you get up from a chair: He recommends not doing it with your hands in order to seamlessly activate the key core and legs muscle.

For a full range of motion that flexes your body in new ways, check out this 12-minute mobile workout:



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