Summertime is right around the corner here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means more opportunities to wear bathing suits and light clothing. So in anticipation of the seasonal change, this weekend’s exercise helps to tone and firm up your waist as it works your core. This is also a great exercise for your thighs, another area that’s exposed during swimsuit season.
Of course, the Core Toner And Waist Shaper is fantastic any time of year, since it does a lot more than just improve your appearance. And recent research reveals another very important reason to keep up with your exercise routine: your lifespan may depend on it.
This weekend’s exercise targets the waist and helps get rid of “love handles” because it works the core and the obliques, the muscles that lie along your ribs and sides. But the Core Toner And Waist Shaper is about more than just appearances.
Building muscle mass is another vital aspect of exercise. I’m not talking about “bulking up” like a bodybuilder; rather, I’m referring to the production of lean muscle tissue that comes from targeted, repeated exercise – particularly weight-bearing exercise.
Building lean muscle mass helps more than your looks and your bones; it may hold the key to a long life, according to an insightful study.
Study: Building Muscle Mass Through Exercise May Hold The Key To Long Life
A study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and published in the American Journal of Medicine, states that the “gold standard” of measuring body composition, the body mass index (BMI), doesn’t present the whole picture of your physical configuration. Most notably, BMI is a poor predictor of health outcomes.
Apparently, BMI alone doesn’t accurately predict the outcome of preventative positive health measures, such as a pH-balanced diet and regular exercise (key elements of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program). Rather, UCLA researchers discovered that overall body composition, not just BMI, gives a much more accurate picture of the future of your health. Here’s how the study was conducted.
Between 1988 and 1994, researchers collected extensive data regarding the health and nutrition of 3,659 study subjects over the age of 55 (women) and 65 (men). They then looked closely at a 2004 follow-up survey conducted on these individuals that showed how many of them had died of natural causes.
Interestingly, the study participants’ body composition was measured not with BMI, but with a technique called bioelectrical impedance, which uses an electric current to determine muscle mass and fat content. Thus, the researchers developed a muscle mass index, or MMI, that shed a surprising amount of light onto the risk of death.
The study concludes that:
“…In adjusted analyses, total mortality was significantly lower in the fourth quartile of muscle mass index compared with the first quartile.”1
In essence, all-cause mortality was found to be significantly lower in those with greater muscle mass (those in the fourth quartile).1 This study is not definitive proof that more muscle mass equals a longer life; but it’s an intriguing and useful piece of information that, especially when viewed in light of voluminous research that ties regular exercise in with a longer, healthier life, serves as an encouragement and motivation to build muscle.
For more on the connection between clinical nutrition, exercise, and length and quality of life, please click on the links to these two articles that discuss this topic in depth:
In addition, Savers know that building muscle means building bone per Wolff’s Law, which states that the pressure of gravity and muscle on bone stimulates bone growth and strength. Thus, exercise is a vital part of rejuvenating youthful bone and increasing your lifespan. It’s like turning back the clock!
And it all starts with that first step, so let’s look at how to do the Core Toner And Waist Shaper.
For greater comfort, use an exercise mat if you don’t have a carpeted floor.
- Sit on the mat with your knees bent. Raise your legs (use your hands to lift them if you need to) so that your lower legs are parallel with the floor, like a table top. Bend your knees at an approximate 90-degree angle.
- Holding your legs up, bring your arms forward over the top of your knees and place your hands together. Only your bottom should be touching the floor.
- Slowly rotate your arms, torso, and head to one side, keeping your hands together.
- Then lean back toward the floor and lower your legs, straightening your knees as you do so. (You won’t straighten your knees entirely.) Make sure your heels do not touch the floor.
- Now sit back up again while bringing your legs back to the starting position.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5, leaning back and straightening your legs and then sitting up and bringing your legs back to the starting position.
- Now bring your arms, head, and torso back to the center (with your hands still together) and repeat step 3, this time on the other side.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 two times, bending and straightening your legs and leaning back and forward.
- Come back to the center and lower your feet to the floor.
- Repeat the entire exercise as many times as you like and are comfortable with.
We suggest you follow-up with these three Weekend Challenges:
If you don’t practice any regular exercise yet, I hope that the study you just learned about will motivate you to start exercising and get your body and your bones in shape for summer and all year round.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
Did you enjoy this challenge? Do you have any exercise tips you’d like to share? Please feel free to let the community know by leaving a comment below.
Have a great weekend!
1 Srikanthan, Preethi, MD, MS and Karlamangla, Arun S., MD, PhD. “Muscle Mass Index As a Predictor of Longevity in Older Adults.” 127. 6. (2014): 547-553. Web. http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(14)00138-7/fulltext