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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