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For a healthy and prosperous life

The average life expectancy for women is 86.99 years, and the average life expectancy for men is 80.75 years. According to the 2015 “Complete Life Table” released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the average life expectancy of the Japanese has reached a record high. As of September 15, 2016 (old people’s day), there are 65,692 Japanese people over the age of 100, which is a surprising number.

It should be noted that not only do people live longer, but there are many elderly people who are active in various fields. There are many people who are active in the field of sports, including Yuichiro Miura, who succeeded in climbing Mount Everest at the age of 80. If you go to the gym during the daytime on weekdays, you will be able to meet seniors in your life who are engaged in running, exercise bikes, strength training, swimming, aerobics and exercise.

“I want to live a long life” is one of the wishes that everyone has since ancient times. However, as we live in one of the world’s leading longevity countries, we now desire not only to live long, but also to live long and fat. Be active and spend fulfilling days while realizing your role and the meaning of life in a deep connection with society. The WHO Charter defines this condition as “health”.

“Exercise,” “Nutrition,” and “Rest” that support health

So, what should I do to live a “healthy” life at any age?

Is it true that as we age, we become less healthy? No, not at all. Physiologically, all humans age and their physical functions decline with age. However, a decline in physical function does not directly lead to poor health. Starting with a decline in physical function, physical activity decreases, and a decline in physical strength leads to a loss of motivation and confidence to be active, which leads to a further decrease in physical activity. . If you look at this spiral, you will naturally see what you need to maintain your health. Stay strong by moving hard, eating well, and resting well. These “exercise”, “nutrition” and “rest” are also called the three elements of health, and if any of them is lacking, we cannot maintain good health.

Among them, exercise can be said to be an element that does not easily become a part of life unless you actively work on it.

What is physical strength

So, what is physical fitness? Physical fitness is defined as “the physical and mental capacities that underlie human survival and activity” and can be structured as shown. All of these are important functions, but among them, it can be said that the main activity is physical activity, especially “muscle strength”, “agility”, “balance”, “endurance” and “flexibility”.

<Characteristics of main physical strength elements>

muscle strength

It affects all activities from basic movements such as standing up and walking to daily life and work.

Muscle strength gradually decreases in both men and women after the mid-40s. Sarcopenia (age-related muscle weakness), which has become a hot topic in recent years, is caused by a decrease in muscle strength due to aging, and can be a risk of various diseases such as falls, fractures, bedridden, and dementia.

Agility

It is also called reaction speed, and it is an important ability such as passiveness when falling and sudden braking when driving. After the age of 20, the reaction speed gradually slows down.

Equilibrium

It is the ability to maintain balance. It integrates information from the semicircular canals (organs that sense the inclination of the body) and somatosensory information (muscles, tendons, skin) to maintain posture and adjust movements. It is characterized by a marked decline in the mid-twenties.

Endurance

It is the ability to sustain a certain intensity of exercise. It can be measured by the index of aerobic exercise called maximum oxygen uptake, and it is generally close to the concept called “physical fitness”. There is a gender difference, but it declines from the 40s to 50s.

Flexibility

Joint mobility such as forward bending. It peaks in the teenage years, but is less affected by aging thereafter.

It was found that some people maintained their physical strength in each age group, compared to those who had exercise habits (walking for 30 minutes or more for 2-3 days a week for more than 2 years) and those who did not. increase. In this way, it is inevitable that physical strength declines with age, but it is possible to delay the decline of physical strength by consciously continuing exercise. Specifically, the physical strength of people in their 40s who have a habit of exercising is no less than that of people in their 20s who do not have a habit of exercising. And fortunately, physical fitness benefits from exercise are available at all ages. It seems that there is an American research result that even if you start muscle training from the age of 90, fat loss and muscle strength increase can be obtained.

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