Does Core Strength Lengthen Life?
Isn’t liposuction easier? Yes, but it costs more. How about both?
Everyone on the planet wants tight abs and a shapely derriere. While everyone loves the look, there is more to consider. According to Harvard Health, the Mayo Clinic and other scientific studies, those with a toned abdominal muscles will have better posture, and better general health.
Even internal organs function better when they are protected by an abdominal shield. That means that your stomach, intestines and most importantly your liver will all benefit from a stronger core.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates Exercise method, used to call his system “contrology.” Reminiscent of a song many learned in grade school, “The hipbone is connected to….,” all movement is made possible by the muscles that encase your midsection, front and back. Walking, doing laundry, vacuuming, reaching for a dish in the cupboard are a few movements made possible courtesy the core muscles.
Americans are living longer these days. But, are they living better? My generation thought it would control the universe back in the 1960’s. That task becomes daunting if one needs a cane or a wheelchair to get around. About 4 out of 5 people have serious back problems and arthritis.
No one is suggesting a cure exists for arthritis , unwanted flab, or what I call Middle Age Memory Deficit, but, the body is meant to move. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors could not have survived ice ages, wild animals, or warring tribes had they not been able to move.
So, what are a few ways to get moving and keep moving?
- When you see steps, do not take an elevator, take the stairs. Even if your progress is slow, your muscles are equipped with a “memory,” that sends positive feedback to your brain. No, walking up five stairs will not burn five hundred calories, but it all adds up.
- Walk as much as possible. Choose a parking space far away from the entrance to any mall or restaurant.
- Use a pedometer. The recommended number of steps per day is 10,000, according to the US Surgeon General and the UK Department of Health. In a 2007 study from the American Medical Association , it found that people who recorded their steps reduced their blood pressure and body mass index. It is as though pedometers put movement clearly on the forefront of one’s experience, and function as a reward system.
- Add movement gradually. As with any lifestyle alteration, trying to get moving too fast or with unrealistic goals will end up in failure. For example, If I am able to get to the swimming pool today, I will not be able to do a hundred laps. Can I try twenty? Yes!
- Vary your exercise routine, but always never forget on the all-important mid section. Water cushions arthritic joints and minor aches and pains, so if you have access to the ocean or a swimming pool, that would be your best option. Often, I swim out to the far rope on our beach and do tummy crunches. One neighbor, who comes only in the winter, is my senior by a few decades. We expect to celebrate her 85th birthday this year.
Of course, smart phones have an app: Accupeda; Fitbit; MotionX 24/7; Noom Walk; and Move, to name a few. These are for the person who has their phone on them every day.