The trick to living a long life may have been easier than expected.A study coming out of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hasshown that older adults who possess more muscle mass tend to have a longerlifespan. Between 1988 and 1994, data was collected from over 3600older individuals who participated in the National Health and NutritionExamination Survey (NHANES). This included men 55 and over, and women 65 andover. Part of this survey involved conducting tests to determine theparticipant’s muscle mass index. The research conductors utilized a follow-up surveyconducted in 2004, to see how many of the original participants remained aliveand how many had passed from natural causes in hopes to find a connectionbetween muscle mass and death.
The results showed that the participants who hada higher muscle mass index when tested were more likely to still be living thanthose who had lower level of muscle mass. This shows increased validity thatbody composition as a whole is a better predictor of longevity than theprevious method of focusing on body mass index (BMI).Simple Exercises for SeniorsWhile it’s understood that not everyone can do a fullworkout in the gym, there are some simple exercises that you can start buildinginto your routine to help increase your muscle mass, keep your body healthy,and maintain your confidence and independence:EnduranceOften called aerobic exercises, these are great for helpingmake your day-to-day activities easier.· Walking: Going for a walk, whether it’s aroundyour neighborhood or a shopping center, is a good way to increase your heartrate. It also keeps your joints and muscles moving, preventing stiffness, and improvingmobility.
· Yard and housework: Gardening, mowing the lawn,raking leaves, or tidying the house all increase your breathing and heart rate,keeping your lungs and body healthy.· Dancing: Not only is dancing fun, it also is agreat work out that uses many of the muscles in your body.· Swimming: Going for a swim is a low-impactexercise, meaning it’s easy on your joints but still requires a lot ofendurance. Many pools have aerobic classes as well, which are quite fun.
BalanceWhen you have a good sense of balance, your likelihood ofexperiencing a fall or a stumble decreases.· Stand on one foot: Being able to stand on one footand remain balanced is an excellent skill to practice. Hold on to a chair or atable for added support until you are comfortable enough to do this on yourown.
· Walk heel-to-toe: Walking in a straight linewith your heel to your toe requires more concentration and balancing skillsthan you may think. It helps improve your overall abilities when you try andmaster this task.FlexibilityMore flexibility increases your movement capabilities, anddecreases muscle stiffness and shortening.· Stretching: Every day, or whenever you arecomfortable, try to stretch out your main muscle groups. This will help youlimber up and reduce the risk of injury.· Yoga: Participating in yoga activities will helpincrease your flexibility over time, and also calm your mind with the meditationportion of the class.
StrengthStrength exercises improve your ability to carry out dailytasks, like lift pots in the kitchen, and climb stairs.· Lifting weights and using resistance bands:Light weights and resistance activities improve muscle tone and increase musclemass. · Using your body: If you don’t have anyequipment, you can look into exercises that use your body weight for traininginstead of traditional weights.Benefits of ExerciseAlong with increasing muscle mass, exercising provides manyother benefits for your body and overall well-being.· Releases hormones and chemicals to elevate mood· Increases metabolic rate· Reduces muscle loss· Increases glucose metabolism, helping to preventage onset diabetes· Increases bone mineral density, and can help wardoff osteoporosisIf you or your lovedone are considering making the transition from home care to independent orassisted living, give The Holiday Retirement a call at 860-233-8208 to learnmore about the services and amenities we provide. Our retirement communities arelocated in Rhode Island and West Hartford, Connecticut.
At The HolidayRetirement, we treat you like family. Fill out this online form if you would like to book a tour.