Continuing my series "7 Reasons Why Every Woman Should Be Building Muscle", today I will be focusing on Independence. Most people want to stay as independent and in control of their lives for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the aging body can run into a number of setbacks, which if left unchecked can have a domino effect on other areas .
In a previous post I discussed how muscle gain has been shown to reduce Alzheimer's risk, and generally improve cognitive function. Looking down the list inside the circle, it is pretty obvious how strength training can improve many of the other areas including mobility, grip strength, and endurance. In fact, the more categories we can positively effect, the more prepared we will be for some of the things we can't or have trouble changing.
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As part of my continuing series 7 Reasons Why Every Woman Should Be Building Muscle, I am focusing on the importance of muscle mass and cognitive health, especially in preventing diseases such as Alzheimers or dementia.
We know loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia is one of the changes we can expect our bodies to go through as we age, I posted about it here, but so is a decrease in metabolism and mobility. This can lead to weigh gain, all the more so if the individual is already overweight, and can snowball into other areas.
A new study published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, led by researchers at Florida Atlantic University's Comprehensive Center for Brain Health has found that the combination of sarcopenia and obesity ("Skinny Fat") pose an even greater threat together than each would individually.
353 participants were given various cognitive and strength tests. The Skinny Fat group had the lowest performance on global cognition, adversely affecting skills such as memory, speed and executive functions including conflict resolution and selective attention. According to Dr. James E. Galvin, one of the most prominent neuroscientists in the country "...at-risk groups.....may benefit from programs addressing loss of cognitive function by maintaining and improving strength and preventing obesity. "
Are you doing all you can to preserve your brain health as you age? Let me know in the comments or click on the "subscribe" button above to join my mailing list to receive more information and updates.
There are unique words or phrases that resonate and in turn motivate each individual. It is our job as coaches to find out what works for our clients.
"You got this" or "You go girl" or "You crushed it" don't do it for me, but this did. I'll bet my coach knew that.
As far as I am on my fitness quest, running has been elusive. After sustaining 3 ankle injuries (2 sprains and a stress fracture) over the past 5 years I swore off running forever. For the last 2 years I've identified and diligently worked on all my misalignments and weaknesses. Another challenge is my high resting heart rate. Although it has come down at least 10 beats per minute I still get winded.
Never say never, right?
I just couldn't get the bug out of my head. Call it a midlife crisis. Call it whatever you want but I knew I had to try one more time.
So this time I am training for a trail race in early October. Trail running is easier on the joints and provides a more challenging, interesting and varied workout. I had fun shopping for all the special gear and even treated myself to a Polar watch with heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking and other bells and whistles I'll figure out eventually.....
But GOOD L-RD it is hard! I know that with good form I'll get there eventually. So thank you, Coach!
There is NO SINGLE BETTER WAY to temper and even reverse the natural effects of aging and ensure better long-term health and longevity than strength training/building muscle. Sure, there are other preventative health measures out there. Of course no one lives a risk-free life. But nothing gives you more bang for the buck to optimize your long-term health than muscle building. It is so easy to get started and there's no downside, why wouldn't you? Stay tunes for this continuing series.
You don't have to be an Olympic body builder or train like one to get stronger, move better, be healthier, and feel and look great.
Learn 5 exercises that will help you fix your posture and feel more mobile!