Why Strength is the Real Key to Longevity

When we are trying to find the essential ways of looking after our health we can spend a lot of time digging deep into the right diet habits and approaches that are considered gospel. The biggest problem is that when we are chasing the latest fads, thinking it’s the key to longevity, we are neglecting our own body in the process. We are individuals, and when it comes to longevity, there are three things that it is influenced by: genetics, environment, and lifestyle. We can’t do anything about our genetics, and apart from moving to another climate, there is very little we can do about our environment. When it comes to lifestyle, there are so many factors, but here are two key approaches that we should all think about when it comes to longevity that focus on one key thing: strength

Looking at Strength in the Long-Term

Strength is not about lifting up and putting down weights, but it’s about recognizing that we can carry our frame with minimal potential for injury. While there are osteopaths such as Osteopathic Consultancy that can help us with back or shoulder problems, we need to use this as a lesson in how we carry ourselves i.e. our posture but also address any weak parts of our body. 

If you fast forward to when you are a grandparent and you’d like to pick up your grandchild, think about what it takes to actually do that. The average weight of a child that has just been born is roughly 3.3 kilograms. Therefore, you can work towards this by lifting dumbbells of that weight and going for even heavier things. But at the same time, when it comes to exercise, you’ve got to focus on form because exercising with proper form will contribute to being able to carry yourself properly, and strength is the integral component here.

Recognize What Preserves Strength 

One of the biggest misconceptions about diet is that once the latest study comes out on intermittent fasting or calorie restriction, we immediately jump on that bandwagon. The fact is that your health is partly determined by genetics, and therefore, the things that you think are meant to be good for you aren’t actually suitable for you. Studies on mice show that intermittent fasting works wonders, but when you start to think about the fact that mice die after only a couple of years, then doing the 16/8 protocol would equate to many days of fasting, which can over time contribute to muscle loss. 

Arguably, it’s more important to maintain strength and muscle mass, not just because it will improve our mobility as we get older, but because muscle is metabolically active and burns calories. Therefore, rather than exclusively focusing on diet, we should prioritise exercise like weight training and building actual strength, which also means consuming at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight, especially as the current health guidelines are way below that. And when we start to think about what the bare minimum is, it doesn’t necessarily equate to feeling healthy in ourselves.

While these are two things that we should address in terms of our health, it’s critical to pay attention to the notion of longevity as well because ultimately, this is the goal.

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