As we age we tend to find our mobility slipping away, our posture caving in to gravity, and our ability to do certain tasks more difficult. One reason for this is that in general adults tend to be less physically active than children and adolescents, since we spend more time at a desk and less time running around. This change in activity affects muscle strength that in turn affects our way of life. For those who wish to reverse this aging process there are a couple of key areas of the body that you should focus on; the legs and the abdomen.
The Importance of Strong Legs
Strong legs are similar to the base of a pillar or column; they are the foundation of the body’s structure. When your leg muscles become weak they not only make it more difficult to get around, they also off-set the entire structure that rests upon them.
In addition to strong legs creating a strong foundation for the body, strong leg muscles also aid in lessening joint pain and increasing movement. Knee and ankle pain are common ailments as people get older since the muscle structure that supports them becomes weak and doesn’t maintain the delicate balance between bone and muscle that joints need in order to perform the movements required of them when we walk, squat, or run. This causes a collapse of these joints that leads to Arthritis, loss of cartilage, Tendonitis, and Bursitis issues.
How a Strong Core Helps
Lower back pain is another common complaint among adults and the older generation. This is largely due to weaker abdominal and back muscles. These muscle groups not only hold in our organs, they also maintain the body’s upright position.
Using our column comparison that was used above; when the midsection, also known as the core, becomes week it puts undue stress on the midsection of the column. Think of pulling a stone from half way up a column, everything above that point becomes unstable and wobbly putting added stress on those stones that sit to either side of the dislodged section. This is the same as having a weak core.
Adding to this issue is the fact that most people tend to gain belly fat as they get older, creating extra weight around this already weak area for the core to attempt to support along with maintaining the upright position. This extra weight pulls the spine and hips forward since the core is not strong enough to support it leading to lower back and leg pain such as Pseudo-sciatica, Restless Leg Syndrome, and Arthritis.
Staying fit and active as you grow older is no laughing matter. Being active aids in preventing many sedentary diseases, as well as directly affects your quality of life. That is why it is vital to maintain a strong core, and leg muscles as you age, to continue to be active, healthy, and live independently for as long as possible.