Science has shown us that strength is the foundational key to improving our lifespan and increasing how healthy we are during our life.
The reality of aging
We lose approximately three to eight percent of muscle mass per decade beginning at the age of thirty. The rate of decline increases after the age of sixty. Equally important is the loss of muscle strength and power, which is lost two to three times more quickly than the loss of muscle mass.
Peter Attia, MD, is a physician who focuses on the applied science of longevity. Among his other accomplishments, he is the New York Times bestselling authoring of Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity. Dr. Attia believes, and I agree, that the loss of muscle strength and power is an important factor that affects the decline of our physical capabilities.
That loss ultimately affects our healthspan. He feels that it is not longevity we are seeking, but the years we are healthy during our lifespan. He looks at our healthspan as the true indicator of life, not our lifespan.
A longer healthspan
Strength is the ability to generate force under given conditions. And Dr. Attica feels that maintaining strength has the potential to increase our healthspan by five times.
How much strength are we talking about?
An adult man should be able to lift and carry the equivalent of his body weight performing a “farmer’s walk” for one minute. Women should be able to perform the same exercise carrying approximately seventy-five percent of their bodyweight.
A “dead hang” is also indicative of overall strength. Women should be able to hold a “dead hang” for one minute and fifteen seconds, and a man for two minutes. Bottom line.
To improve your lifespan and your healthspan, stay strong.