Okay, first of all, I've given you a bit of a teaser headline. I was inspired by an interesting documentary I watched last week called "How to stay young".
Dancing has been proven to be better than the gym in strengthening muscles and improving flexibility and balance.
As I lover of dance, I'm excited by these results! Read the details below.
- A German study compared two groups of older adults over six months. One group danced and the second group exercised in the gym (ie exercise bikes). Each group exercised to the same music to keep the level of exertion roughly equal. Both groups completed 3 x 1 hour sessions per week.
- After six months, the gym group had a slight increase on average, however, the dance group showed a 15% improvement in muscle strength.
- This is because dance is a more comprehensive/holistic form of exercise - it uses your brain, your muscles, your tendons, your ligaments and your nervous system. Dancing facilitates the cross-talk between the muscle and the nerves, which is the key to stronger muscles. As well as being aerobic, dancing requires flexibility and balance.
- An exercise you can use to test these factors is the "sitting and rising" test. That is, cross your legs and sit down on the ground, then rise up - without support (ie no hands, no arms, no knees, etc).
- If you can sit and rise without support, you score 10 points (10/10). If you use your hand, forearm, knee or side of your leg, you lose a point for each. If you lose your balance or are wobbly, you lose half a point.
- Your goal is to score 8-10 points to achieve the greatest life expectancy. You can improve your score through exercises that target strength, agility and balance (or just keep practising this sit-and-rise test). I found a YouTube video that shows this segment: click here.
- Lifestyle accounts for 75% of your longevity. Genetics accounts for only 25%.
- After smoking, stress and weight have the biggest influence on how we age.
Eat pulses to reduce visceral fat.
Vegans live longer than meat eaters.
We need to be more active as we get older.
Find your own way to reduce stress and live longer.
- People with Laron’s syndrome never seem to get the major diseases of ageing such as cancer and diabetes. Their blood contains very little of a particular growth factor. The presence of this growth factor is what makes us age.
- Diseases of ageing have the same basic root causes, so scientists are now targeting ageing.
- Scientists have created a drug called rapamycin which mimics the anti-aging properties of Laron’s syndrome. In mice, rapmycin extends life by 15%.
- Would you take this anti-ageing drug?
The second part of the series is on Tuesday 12 July at 8.30pm on ABC.