Results show that very few of us engage in Muscle Strengthening Activities

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Unfortunately, over half of us (56%) in Killaloe Ballina do no muscle strengthening activities on any day of the week.

As you age, it’s important to protect your bones, joints and muscles. Not only do they support your body and help you move, but keeping bones, joints and muscles healthy can help ensure that you’re able to do your daily activities and be physically active. Research shows that doing aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening physical activity of at least a moderately-intense level can slow the loss of bone density that comes with age.

 

Muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength.  Gaining more muscle through resistance training has many benefits, and is an essential element if you want to prevent weakening of your bones (osteoporosis), age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), limited range of motion, aches, and pains. Staying active and maintaining strong muscles becomes increasingly important as you get older to prevent chronic health problems and injuries from falls.

 

Strength Training Becomes MORE Important with Age

 

The Healthy Killaloe Ballina survey found that a whopping 71% of people aged 65 and over do no muscle strengthening activities.

 

It’s important to realize as you age, your muscle strength and tone will have declined. If you’re not engaging in strength or resistance training, chances are you’ll become increasingly less functional with age, which can take a toll on your quality of life. There are many benefits of muscle strengthening activities

 

  1. Increase in Energy Levels

The result is higher energy levels and long-lasting stamina.You tend to have better sleep cycles and improved mental concentration.

  1. Physical Strength

With higher muscle mass and optimal muscular strength, you tend to function for longer periods of time without getting tired.

  1. Better Health

Latest research studies indicate that muscular strength and regular physical activity is required to maintain overall health and well-being.

  1. Enhanced Posture

With higher muscular strength, you can enhance your posture and alignment of connective tissue.

  1. Decrease of Injury

Strong muscles are better able to adapt to the physical as well as environmental stressors. This also helps in decreasing the risk of injury in sudden or repetitive movements.

  1. Healthier when Old

Strong muscles also contribute to the strong bones and joints by promoting healthy remodeling of bones with advancing age. In this regard, it is noteworthy that individuals who have strong muscles and those who continue to work-out to maintain muscular strength tend to age slowly and are at lesser risk of developing fractures, osteoporosis or other defects of bone mineral density.

  1. Prevention of Diseases

Promoting muscle mass may help with certain medical conditions:

  • Cardiovascular Diseases.Muscular strength and resistance exercises improve cardiac functioning.
  • Breathing and Constipation.Muscular strength helps in promoting breathing functions and prevent the development of constipation.
  • Hypertension and Hyperlipidemia.People who have higher muscular strength are less likely to develop hypertension, hyperlipidemia and other similar conditions.

 

 

Muscle Strengthening Recommendations

 

The World Health Organization recommends that  adults aged 18  years old and upwards that muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups for 2 or more days a week.

 

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it’s at home or the gym. The activities you choose should work all the major muscle groups of your body (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms). You may want to try:

  • Attending an exercise class geared towards muscle strengthening activities
  • Lifting weights
  • Elastic bands
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance (push ups, sit ups)
  • Heavy gardening (digging, shoveling)
  • Yoga

 

Muscle strengthening activities are very important to our health no matter what your age.

For further information regarding this finding please contact nollaig@clarisfordpark.ie

Have you ten minutes? Let’s go walking

 

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We all know how life gets so busy and hectic.  Can you squeeze in just ten minutes of a walk every day?

I am not asking for a fast walk, a run, a long distance, or anything too strenuous. Walk around the neighborhood, walk around the house, walk around a local track, walk on a nice trail … just walk. Relax the mind and eliminate all of your stress from the day and move your body to get some blood flowing and muscles moving.

Something as simple as walking ten minutes a day can have amazing benefits.  Try it for a week, take note of the benefits, use the ten minutes a day to take time out for yourself and breathe deep and relax.

 

It’s a gentle, low-impact form of exercise that’s easy, free and suitable for people of all ages and most abilities. Here’s why it’s so good for you:

 

  1. It strengthens your heart

Regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in check.

  1. It lowers disease risk

As well as heart disease, a walking habit can slash your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers.

  1. It keeps weight in check

Putting one foot in front of the other is one of the easiest ways to do that.

  1. It can help prevent dementia

Dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80. We know being active has a protective effect on brain function and regular exercise reduces dementia risk by up to 40 per cent.

  1. …and osteoporosis, too

Walking stimulates and strengthens bones, increasing their density – really important, especially for women. It also helps maintain healthy joints so may stave off conditions such as arthritis.

  1. It tones your legs, bum – and tum

A good walk can help strengthen and shape your legs, giving great definition to calves, quads, hamstrings and lifting your glutes (buttock muscles) – especially if you add hills. But if you really pay attention to your posture as you walk, it can tone your abs and whittle your waist, too.

     7.It boosts your vitamin D levels

If you’re walking outside in daylight, you’ll be boosting your body’s stores of vitamin D – a nutrient that’s hard to get from food, but that we can synthesise from exposure to sunlight.

     8.It gives you energy

It might seem like a paradox (and the last thing you might feel like) but a brisk walk is one of the best natural energizers around. Always have a mid-afternoon energy slump at work? Head out for a walk at lunchtime instead of sitting in a café or at your desk and see what a difference it makes.

     9.It makes you happy

Getting active releases feel-good endorphins into the bloodstream, reducing stress and anxiety. And don’t forget it’s often a social activity – joining a walking group or meeting friends to walk and chat is a great way to banish feelings of isolation and loneliness.

 

Here are a few simple ways to squeeze the walk into your day:

  1. Go for a walk first thing in the morning (you won’t believe how well this works to wake you up)!
  2. Make your meetings walking meetings (instead of sitting meetings).
  3. Go for a lunchtime walk.
  4. Take public transportation or drive a few blocks away from your final destination and walk the last part instead.
  5. Get in an after-dinner walk (this can feel great for digestion).

 

Whatever works for you, just walking ten minutes a day will make all the difference in the world!