…that you can try at home
Do you need to be able to run a marathon, deadlift 3 times your bodyweight or keep up with Usain Bolt in a 100m sprint to be healthy and happy and to live to a ripe old age? Of course not! But there are certain movements and exercises that you should be able to perform that indicate your general physical health. And that's important because your general physical health is indicative of your lifespan (how long you live until) and your healthspan (the quality of your later years). We have 3 exercises that we think are absolutely essential for a long and healthy life and that you will be able to test right now in today’s blog; 3 Exercises to Predict your Longevity.
Get up off the floor with no hands
Sounds simple enough right? Try it now. Lie flat on the floor. Now get up. But pretend that you have no arms! Can you do it?
Not as easy as it sounds right?
Now ask any kid to do it. They can all do it. Why? Because kids have natural in-built flexibility, balance, coordination, stability and strength. And we should all maintain a natural level of that right up until the day we die. But we don’t. Because of our sedentary lifestyles.
If you don’t have the lower body strength to get up off the floor, then that’s a good indication of poor strength overall. Low strength = low muscle mass and low bone density = less sugar stores and weak immune system = increase chance of falls, injuries, cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s (see below).
You also need balance and flexibility to get up off the floor without your hands. A lack of which increases your chances of falls, poor posture, injuries, accidents, back, neck and shoulder pain and generally a less pleasant experience of life.
Give it a try and then watch my video to see different ways of doing it. Some are easier than others.
Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo did a series of studies on 50 to 80 years olds and gave them this very test. He marked them, out of 10, on how well they did on the test and then followed them for over a decade. What he found was that those that did well on the test had a 10% mortality rate 12 years later (i.e. 90% were still alive), whereas those that did poorly on the test had a 40% mortality rate (i.e. only 60% were still alive).
The Bodyweight Squat
Not everyone needs to squat heavy. But everyone should be able to squat. All babies and kids can do this. It is an essential movement mechanic for external and internal physical health.
For example this is the correct way to poop. When you squat you squish up all your organs and put pressure on your colon, and as you breathe, whilst squatting, your diaphragm pushes down and squishes your organs up even more. This encourages peristalsis (movement through the bowels) and helps you eliminate properly. And that is essential. Because what you don’t eliminate you assimilate and reabsorb back into the body. Poo is toxic. It needs to come out!
The biggest killer of Singaporean men is cancer. And the biggest cancer in Singapore is colon cancer. This type of cancer is much more prevalent in developed countries without squat toilets rather than undeveloped countries where they’re still using holes in the ground.
Everyone should be able to walk, and most people can walk. But why is walking important? Firstly we live in a toxic world and moving toxins through and out of our body is critical to prevent cellular DNA damage and mutations (like cancer).
Toxins are bound up in our lymph system. And our lymph system, unlike our circulatory system doesn’t have a pump. It doesn’t have a heart. It works more like a dynamo in a Swiss watch. It only moves when we move. The more we move, the more we detox. More walking = more detox.
Also walking outside exposes us to infrared light from the sun (even through clothes and clouds) which boosts our melatonin production, which means we sleep deeper, recharge and heal more quickly.
Lastly, walking sends information to the body that we are alive. Everything that moves is alive. Everything that doesn’t move is dead. The more we walk the healthier, happier and more long lived we are. We did a study of all the famous centenarian societies around the globe and found that they averaged between 15,000 and 25,000 steps a day. In Singapore we average around 5000 steps a day.
Of course most people can walk a little but we should be able to walk a lot, without aches, pains or getting out of breath. If you can’t walk for a couple of hours non-stop without pain then that’s a good indication that you have a postural problem or are unfit from a cardiovascular perspective. The former can be fixed with corrective exercise personal training and the latter with practice!
Now not everyone will be able to do these things. Some people will have disabilities and physical limitations. And that’s OK. It generally means we need to do extra work to get into a balanced state. But for most people there really is no excuse and as I often tell my father, it’s never too late to start!
To your health, happiness and longevity,
The Levitise Team
Are you worried that your balance, coordination, strength, stability, flexibility and mobility might be below average for your age? Then get in touch and we can set you up with a FREE movement assessment. Just WhatsApp us and quote "Hunza" and you could be well on your way to boosting your health, happiness and longevity.
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