The question of how to maximise ‘health span’ – the period of life during which we are generally healthy and free from serious disease – is increasingly prevalent.
Global average lifespan doubled during the 20th Century, and this trend continues. Someone who is 50 today could expect to live until they are 83. A baby born in 2007 in the US, UK, Japan, Italy, Germany, France or Canada has a 50% chance of living until they are over 100.
It’s likely that we will live and work for more years than any generation before us. For many, this will be a necessity as much as a choice, as the increasing social costs of an ageing population are pushing back retirement age in many countries. These changes will have significant economic, social and psychological impacts, but one of the key questions we need to ask concerns the kind of life we’re hoping for, over this time course.
Lifespan or ‘health-span’
Different parts of our body and brain mature at different rates, so it’s very difficult to say what human ‘peak age’ might be. However, it’s clear that the first phase of life is dominated by growth, while declines become more apparent in the second half.
The good news is that you can radically increase the number of disease-free, active years at the end of your life.
You need to propel yourself into motion to increase your health span.
Movement is medicine
Physical activity sets off a cascade of ‘signals’ which, if repeated, improve the function of our body and brain, diminishing the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders, reducing anxiety and enhancing concentration and attention.
Studies have demonstrated that even 90 year-olds can improve their strength and power, with the appropriate training regimen and significant benefits are possible from relatively small ‘doses’ of physical activity.
After turning 50, muscle mass begins to decrease at a rate of 1-2% per year, and muscle strength declines at 1.5–5% per year. Having more functional muscle may be associated with a 'whole-body neuro-protective effect’ and while more research is required, muscular strength appears to play an important and independent role in the prevention of cardiovascular heart disease. Being in the top 25% of muscle mass for your age-group appears to be a significant positive predictor of longevity. Peak muscle power is an important predictor of how well we’ll function in old-age.
You don’t need to spend the last few years of your life suffering, frail, and dependent on others.
Strengthen, stretch, and move your body to increase the number of high-quality years of your life.
Try to include resistance training as part of your life, at least once or two-times per week.
EMS training offers the perfect solution
Perfect for older adults, EMS works by using electrical impulses to stimulate the muscles while you’re working out. That means you can still achieve your desired results, even from a lower-intensity workout.
It’s easy on the joints and tendons because EMS trainers focus on bodyweight or balance exercises. However, EMS can still provide a full-body workout that can improve both strength and stability, even for those older adults who feel they have reduced mobility.
For those worried about their stamina and endurance in old age, EMS is a great solution, because each workout is only 20 minutes long. A short, 20-minute burst of activity is all you need to start seeing results.
It’s ideal for seniors who aren’t quite as fit and active as they used to be, but are looking for a way to get back into fitness. A safe and controlled way to exercise, you can be sure that you are always exercising in the safest way, because your certified Speedfitness trainer will plan and supervise your entire workout.
You can discuss with your trainer your specific needs and goals, and they will take these into account when planning your workouts. They can adapt both the exercises and the intensity of the electrical impulses to take into account any pre-existing conditions, making sure you always feel safe and looked after.
Your trainer will be with you every step of the way, to ensure you get the most out of every workout. They can also ensure that your workout targets specific muscle groups without the risk of muscle or joint strain.
What’s your life story going to be? How are you going to spend the last decades of your life?