Any and all kinds of movement contribute to keeping us strong and able. Muscle strength and mass, decline at an alarming rate after age 50. Muscle can be viewed as an essential organ, a storage source of the building blocks of all other tissues. All activity is good but some forms are better than others at producing the effects we need in order to avoid decline. Without preemptive effort, a vulnerable state of fragility can begin. Events occur that we have virtually no control over – accidents and incidents that immobilize us. Exercise and movement is our very best prevention and medicine.
So that brings us to the question – what forms of exercise are most effective and incidentally most efficient at keeping mobility?
First let’s eliminate what is detrimental: frequent, repetitive, long-duration, and no resistance. That would include so-called cardiovascular workouts, swimming, running, biking – done to excess, multiple times a week for long duration. This can actually damage tissue and wear down cartilage. Now, all of these activities are fun and enjoyable and should be part of your life if you enjoy them. Just DON’T OVER DO; be sure to incorporate sufficient RECOVERY TIME and use serious therapies and OTHER TYPES of training to balance any possible tissue damage.
So… what kind of exercise is profoundly and efficiently beneficial? What are the distinguishing elements?
•High intensity (working as hard as you can briefly),
•High resistance (high weight or robust isometric resistance),
•low repetition – one? two? reps at maximum weight
•long recovery time.
That is the secret formula for keeping and building muscle, bone, and cartilage — the structure that underlies our ability to MOVE.
Without a doubt, the dancingbones program incorporates all of these elements and we see the results of this formula, especially inclusive of bioDensity.
In the waiting room are books and writings by expert proponents of this formula. See McGuff’s, Hahn’s and Zickerman’s books.
What are the inhibiting factors to building strength (muscle) and keeping mobile? Injury, frailty, and inconsistency are the biggies. When we are injured to the point where we cannot employ sufficient resistance (weight), atrophy and sarcopenia set in. Muscle loss, in fact, can begin within 5 days of an immobilizing fracture or injury. Engaging therapies for recovery from injury needs to begin without delay. When you are injured, delay is not your friend.
Frailty and being unfit can be overcome with gradual increases in strength over time. One who is extremely frail can gain strength. It is a slower process and requires consistency and patience. The goal is to increase strength little by little and stop further bone and muscle loss.