Strength Matters

Having strength is an admirable and a necessary quality. Many people are in awe of great shows of strength and ability. Yet many of those same individuals are lacking in their own strength acumen. The physiological process of muscle loss (sarcopenia) is part of aging. Since muscular tone and strength is important for posture and balance, it is imperative that activities be engaged in that enhance those qualities. Resistance Training is a method by which humans can increase their strength. Different modalities include Weight Training (Barbells, Dumb Bells) Body Weight, and various Gladiator Fitness routines, just to name a few. Muscular strength maintenance can forestall aggressive muscle loss.

Yoga Arm Balances
Yoga Arm balance poses are good for building shoulder stability and tendon strength

We adore strength. It is the stuff of storied fable. It is the stuff of dreams. Yet, that story is not a reality for many. It is much easier to admire strength than it is to attain strength. Many approach aging with an attitude of acquiescence. Instead of being the ship’s captain the captain has quartered themselves and allowed the ship to drift. Muscle tone can be obtained easily in one’s youth, but many do not undertake the challenge. Suboptimal levels of physical activity in children and adolescents over the past few decades, often accompanied by obesity, have become a worldwide public health issue Age related sarcopenia is an issue to be examined.  Both of these can be positively addressed. The initiative to do so must be engaged.

Balance and posture become compromised in the absence of strength. The mere act of walking, a most necessary aspect of living, is near impossible when strength is compromised in support of balance. Nearly all physiological  functions are adversely affected by less than optimal posture. Yet, the ill-aspects of them both are correctable. By bringing awareness to posture and balance, one develops a practice of correcting their less than optimal aspects Balance can be addressed by standing next to a support and standing on one foot, alternating between left and right foot. Basic. Strength for posture comes from the core. It is not possessing a six pack nor being able to endure a 50 pound medicine ball dropping down into one’s abdomen. It is the awareness of what one is ablw to do at any given time, strength wise, and adjusting accordingly.   

  

Animals, many of them, are naturally stronger than humans and can typically outrun, outjump and outlift their human counterparts. Although a human may NEVER outlift a bear, outjump a kangaroo, or outrun a cheetah, there are modalities that can help a human to enhance their natural abilities. Resistance training is the key and is key. Not only to increasing strength but also to live a more vital and assistance free life. The main advantage to engaging in resistance training is that it help in maintaining viable muscle function. That is to say, it keeps muscles from wasting away (a physiological occurrence known as sarcopenia). Completing marathon lifting sessions is not necessary for muscle mass maintenance. One must be consistent in their efforts to address or forestall the progression of sarcopenia.

One more rep!!!!1
Playing the edge. Getting stronger.

There are numerous ways through which muscle mass can be maintained. There is weight training (the use of external measured mass attached to devices that allow for weighted movement). There is combat fitness (a modality that utilizes mainly body weight movement for sundry activities i.e. push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, obstacle course maneuvers, etc), Kettle bell training, Gladiator Training (calisthenics, lifting/moving objects), Isometric Training with resistance (this is big in some martial arts training circles (hold a postion with weights for extended periods of time. etc. Basically, moving and external resistance will help keep the muscles strong and active. It is, at the very least, something worth looking into and participating in as one ages,

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