What does lower body strength have to do with brain health and healthy aging? More than you may have realized. One study of 1,280 people, 55 years old or older found leg strength to be one of the biggest predictors of physical ability later in life. This was regardless of age or gender. In another study keeping mice from using their back legs for almost a month, the findings reveal their reduced lower body muscle mass decreased brain cells 70%! That’s incredibly important as this could increase risk of developing all sorts of brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
So walking daily whenever possible and doing exercises like lunges and squats to strengthen your lower body should be on your short fitness to-do list.
Here is an easy way to test your lower body strength:
Sit down on the floor crosslegged.
Stand up using only leg strength. Keep your hands in prayer pose or across your chest to avoid the temptation of using your arms for momentum or to touch the ground to help yourself get up. Repeat this five times in a row.
For older adults or anyone with a balance disorder, do the test from a chair.
How strong are your legs?
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Great post Ms. Ann! Even though I still walk quite a bit each day as I do chores, etc. around the ranch, I lament that my legs are no longer that “sturdy foundation” I can depend upon. The knees want to buckle faster under a load, my ankles sound like Rice Krispies(tm) covered in milk, and my balance often times fails me. I was just sharing with my dear wife over this past weekend; “You know, I’ve come to gain a who new appreciation for the handrails in the bathroom. I think we need to add more of these around the house.” Thank you for all your encouragement and guidance ma’am.
God bless you my friend. Just stay active as you are. I’m sure you’ve used your legs more than most do and they do tend to show wear and tear.
I have the strongest legs!!! My whole life people made fun of my huge thighs. Now my calves are close to the same size and I love these big legs that take me on 85 mile hikes and 100 mile bike rides and all the other awesome stuff they let me do!!! 😁
Good for you Holly! That is awesome!! I don’t have very big legs but I have always had very strong legs – maybe from all the years of dance lessons!!
That’s awesome Ann! I’d trade big for dainty and strong. But it’s what I got! Have a great weekend my dear!
Strong is what matters most!