Not too long ago, a group of researchers in Brazil discovered a simple fitness test that may help predict your longevity by measuring how easily you can sit and rise from the floor.
Other related tests have looked at how many steps it takes, and how long it takes to stand up from lying (supine) of the floor.
Click here for an interesting article that summarizes the link between mobility and longevity.
The bottom line, though, is this: a person who isn’t fit enough to get up from the floor quickly is likely to die sooner than someone who can. This is because as we age our bones lose their density, our muscles shrink and our tendons lose their elasticity – unless we actively work to remain strong and vital.
So what can you do about it?
Plan ahead, invest in your health early on and keep it up for as long as you can. It’s never too late to get started. We have one client who began exercising and eating well at 60, and he now looks and trains like someone half his age.
As for specific exercises, try the Turkish get-up. Sounds silly but it’s effective. Below is a video of one of our team members demonstrating the move. He is using a 50lbs kettlebell.
If you’re just starting out, begin with something like a can of soup or even a shoe before progressing to heavier weights. Get comfortable with the movements, and then progress to more resistance and repetitions.
And as always, be sure to warm-up before trying this – or any exercise. And if you’d like some additional coaching, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 18 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!