This weekend’s exercise addresses the coordination between your arms, legs, and brain and it’s done while seated. So it’s excellent for preventing falls, and it also strengthens your lower legs and arms.
And today you’ll discover that coordination is important for more reasons than just preventing falls – it also reduces the chances of injury if you do fall, a fact that’s been scientifically proven. In addition, a just-published study shows a remarkable connection between strong legs and cognitive function.
So let’s get started with this multi-functional exercise!
As you surely know, coordination is a key component in fighting osteoporosis without drugs. That’s because coordination helps prevent falls that could result in fracture – and preventing fractures is the ultimate goal.
But exciting new research reveals even more benefits of coordination: it can actually help prevent injury in case a fall does happen.
Coordination Exercises Decrease Likelihood Of Injury In The Event Of A Fall
Researchers studied 17 trials that involved over 4,300 participants. They discerned four types of falls as they reviewed the data: severely injurious, injurious, falls requiring medical care, and falls that resulted in fractures. The resulting meta-analysis was published in the BMJ, with scientists concluding that:
“Exercise programmes designed to prevent falls in older adults also seem to prevent injuries caused by falls, including the most severe ones. Such programmes also reduce the rate of falls leading to medical care.”1
This is great news! Isn’t it fantastic to know that when you engage in exercises like the Weekend Challenges, you’re taking part in actively preventing falls, injuries, and fractures?
There are even more remarkable benefits to coordination exercises, which we’ll discuss in a moment. But first, I want to show you how to perform The Seated Coordination Improver.
You’ll need a couple of small dumbbells for this exercise, or you can use soup cans, water bottles, or any other similar object that weighs about a pound. And of course, you’ll need a chair.
- Sit up straight with both feet flat on the floor.
- Rock your feet back and forth by picking up your alternate heel and toe (you’ll lift your right toes along with your left heel, and vice versa).
- As you’re rocking your feet, hold your arms out to your sides while holding the weights (one in each hand).
- Make small circles with your arms in a forward direction. After about 10 circles, switch directions and make 10 circles in a backward direction.
- Continue rocking your feet throughout and repeat at least 5 times.
As you perform this exercise, you’ll see how coordination is required – you need to engage your brain to keep your feet in rhythm while circling your arms. This helps explain how coordination exercises enhance cognitive abilities as we age, a connection that’s been scientifically proven.
U.K. Twin Study Shows Lower Leg Strength Predicts Cognitive Ability
Studies on identical twins provide unique insights. Three-hundred and twenty-four sets of identical twins, ranging in age from 43 to 73, were studied for a period of 12 years. Scientists assessed the connection between muscle fitness and brain function, and found that:
“a striking protective relationship was found between muscle fitness (leg power) and both 10-year cognitive change…and subsequent total grey matter…”2
In other words, the twin who had more leg muscle power had fewer age-related cognitive changes over a period of 10 years.
“Leg power predicts both cognitive ageing and global brain structure… Interventions targeted to improve leg power in the long term may help reach a universal goal of healthy cognitive ageing.”2
It’s fascinating that lower leg strength – an area of the body whose location is far from the brain – is a key area that, when exercised, influences the brain. But as prior studies have shown, when muscles are exercised, they release hormones that promote nerve cell growth in other places in the body.
Many Exercises In Densercise™ Target Leg Strength And Coordination
The moves in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System are specifically designed to target fracture-prone areas such as wrists, hips, and ankles. So exercises that strengthen lower leg bones and ankles also offer protection against injury, as discussed in the first study on coordination, and the cognitive benefits described in the second study.
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.
Moves like the One Step Jump (page 33), the Wall Walk (page 49), and the Hopscotch Jump (page 26) work the lower legs to build bone density, increase muscle strength, and all of the benefits described above (and so much more).
Enjoy the weekend!
1 El-Khoury, Fabienne, PhD candidate in epidemiology, et al. “The effect of fall prevention exercise programmes on fall induced injuries in community dwelling older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” BMJ. October 2013. 347:f6234. Web. http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6234
2 Steves, C.J., et al. “Kicking Back Cognitive Ageing: Leg Power Predicts Cognitive Ageing after Ten Years in Older Female Twins.” Gerontology. February 2016. Vol. 62, No. 2. DOI: 10.1159/000441029. Web. http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/441029