We all want to be healthy, and many of us want to live long. For me, I want to live only as long as I can keep being active and in good health. In this post, I’ll share some ideas from scientific research on what to focus on to grow old in the best (musculo-skeletal) health we can.
Simpler than you think
Turns out, there are two excellent indicators of overall health that have been examined in the last few years, and they’re both extremely simple! Not easy, but simple.
Sitting and getting up
The first one speaks of whole-body strength, flexibility, and balance. Can you sit on the floor, and get back up? Now without your hands? Without kneeling in the process? If you can, congratulations! You’ll live forever! Probably not, but you get the idea.
Here is an article presenting this result in some more details, and includes a link to the original research paper as well.
This one may be a bit more surprising, as it is very localised. A probable explanation for the link between the strength of your grip and your overall longevity is the following: to get and maintain grip strength, you need to engage in many activities that have full-body impact, like hanging or working hard with your hands. Note that the latter is often a great workout for your brain as well!
Read a presentation of this result on Harvard’s website.
Want more like this?Check out the following blogs from massage therapists I know from around London:
- On The Run Health and Fitness on running, nutrition and sports massage.
- The Soma Room on sports massage and exercise.