Is a Nursing Home
�People generally wind up in nursing homes because of incontinence, immobility, or cognitive impairment, which is usually caused by Alzheimer�s disease.�
�Incontinence and immobility, are intimately related to weakness in leg strength: when the muscles of the thigh and buttocks weaken, so too does one�s control of the bladder and bowels. Because of this, enforced bed rest frequently leads to incontinence.
The lesson is clear. If you want to avoid the nursing home, you�d better take good care of your legs.�
William Evans, PhD, eminent exercise physiologist adds another compelling reason for strong lower body strength. Evans says,
�The principle villain in hip fractures is not the commonly blamed weak bones produced by osteoporosis, but instead, the weak muscles that surround the bones.�
Dr. Evans and co-researcher Irwin Rosenberg have proven that many of the reductions in function that people associate with aging are actually due to inactivity and lack of strength. But it�s never too late to improve.
�Advanced age is not a static irreversible biological condition of unwavering decrepitude. Rather it�s a dynamic state that in most people can be changed for the better no matter how many years they�ve neglected their body in the past.�
How good are your legs?
Try the following test created by researchers at CSU in Fullerton for adults ages 60 to 95. It includes a 30-Second Chair Stand, which is an exercise designed to measure your lower body strength and predict your future ability to walk, climb stairs, get out of a chair and keep your balance.
Here�s what to do.
It's easier to do this if you have a friend to time you. How to you stack up?
If your score is at the top of the range, congratulations�but if not you better get busy on that strength training program you�ve been putting off.
Dr. Bortz says, �If fractured hips and nursing homes aren�t part of your plan for the future, I seriously recommend that you take regular doses of the universal medicine�regular, structured exercise. It�s safe, cheap and has no side effects.�
What are you doing to exercise your brain and keep your memory sharp? If you answer is "Not much," check out the brain games at Brain Be Quick�.
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