Can you come to a standing position from a chair without using your hands or arms to push yourself up? Go ahead, try it…we’ll wait.
Ok, now try to sit down in your chair, again without using your hands or arms for support or balance.
As I say in my boot-camp class, that was great practice, now for the workout.
Move to a carpeted area and stand. WITHOUT using your hands or arms, sit down cross-legged on the carpet (it helps to cross one leg behind the other first before you drop down). When you get down now stand back up. Again no hands or arms.
Well? How’d we do?
Apparently, this little exercise is called the Stand-Sit Test and it is a predictor of longevity. The test, a variation of the chair sit to stand test was designed to provide a window into an older person’s ability to function well and remain autonomous.
In simpler terms, if one does not remain flexible, maintain good balance and muscular strength, their ability to do certain tasks or activities can be severely impacted. This can lead to slips, falls, tripping and other mishaps in the home or out and about.
While aging is inevitable, there are things you can do to help make it less problematic, at least physically.
- Strength train twice a week. At the minimum do body weight exercises such as squats, pushups, an exercise called a glute activation lunge and toss in a plank for giggles.
- Add in mobility and flexibility moves. Listen, our bodies get creaky and stiff as we age. Keeping our muscles pliable, maintaining a full range of motion, and helping to prevent the shortening of our muscles will really help with being able to stay active.
- Work on your balance. I know, people hate balancing moves. But the more you do them, the better your balance will get. Check out this video for a short yoga practice that will help.
Now go run!