Stronger, health­ier, younger!

Build­ing your strength is vi­tal for good health and could even help you stay younger for longer, says health writer Karen Even­nett

YOURS (UK) - - Content -

It’s a sober­ing fact that past the age of 25 you lose one per cent of mus­cle strength with ev­ery year that passes. “The best way to de­scribe it is as if you’re try­ing to climb a down­ward es­ca­la­tor,” says phys­io­ther­a­pist Sammy Margo. “Each year you’ve got to keep work­ing harder to stay on top.” Do­ing re­sis­tance ex­er­cises to tone up isn’t just about look­ing bet­ter and get­ting slim­mer (al­though we’ll ad­mit that is an added bonus), it helps you move bet­ter, gives you more en­ergy and helps with your bal­ance – some stud­ies even sug­gest it could help you live longer. “Gain­ing and main­tain­ing mus­cle strength is cru­cial to so many as­pects of your over­all health and well­be­ing,” ex­plains Sammy. “The stronger your mus­cles, the stronger your bones will be too – and that low­ers your risk of os­teo­poro­sis. You also pro­tect your joints from arthri­tis and re­duce your risk of a dan­ger­ous fall.” We also know that be­cause mus­cle is “metabol­i­cally active”, the more you have, the more calo­ries you burn – even when you’re rest­ing – and that has pay-offs in pre­vent­ing weight-re­lated con­di­tions such as heart dis­ease and Type 2 di­a­betes. “The lat­est re­search even shows that stronger mus­cles lower your risk of de­men­tia,” says Dr Mar­i­lyn Glenville, author of Nat­u­ral So­lu­tions for De­men­tia and Alzheimer’s (£12.77, Life­style Press). “Thirty min­utes of

‘The stronger your mus­cles, the stronger your bones will be too – and that low­ers your risk of os­teo­poro­sis’

ex­er­cise three times a week could help to im­prove your mem­ory and pro­cess­ing speed in just four weeks – but in­clud­ing strength train­ing in your sched­ule has more im­pact than just do­ing aer­o­bics,” she says. “It’s thought the ef­fects are due to the fact that build­ing mus­cle could help to in­crease the vol­ume of your hip­pocam­pus (the part of your brain that deals with long-term mem­o­ries) by two per cent. This mat­ters a lot be­cause this is the part of the brain that shrinks as a symp­tom of Alzheimer’s, and the two per cent in­crease is like re­vers­ing the equiv­a­lent of one or two years’ shrink­age.” The good news is that you can get stronger mus­cles with­out go­ing any­where near dumb-bells. Here’s how…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.