On becoming frail with age - Deepstash

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On becoming frail with age

As we age, physical activity becomes more important. One serious negative consequence of older individuals who are less physically active is that their muscles dwindle, they atrophy. The less they are active, the frailer they become.

The good news is that you can turn it around. The mechanisms that get turned on when we do a little bit of strength training don't diminish with age. Strength training will give you enormous benefits.

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Sitting a lot is not unnatural

Our ancestors walked about 5 miles a day - or about 10,000 steps. Many people are moving less than they did before the pandemic. If 10,000 steps feel too out of reach, it's OK. It doesn't really matter what you do, as long as you're focused on movement.

In villages in remote parts of the world where people don't have chairs or a hunter-gatherer camp, people sit on average 10 hours a day. So it is not unnatural to sit a lot, but it is problematic if that's all you do.

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Exercise is a new phenomenon

Exercise is a new phenomenon

For much of history, human beings had an active lifestyle, but it did not include any kind of formal exercise.

Movement just for movement's sake is a relatively new phenomenon in human history.

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Interrupted sitting is important

Getting up every 10 minutes or so just to go to the bathroom or make yourself a cup of tea is turning on your muscles. It uses up fats and sugars in your bloodstream, and it produces molecules that turn down inflammation.

Interrupted sitting and not sitting in a chair that's nestling your body keeps your muscles going and is much healthier for you.

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Getting eight hours of sleep a night

People often get stressed about how much they should be sleeping. The stress elevates their cortisol that prevents them from sleeping. So they get into a vicious circle.

People who live in places where there is no electricity, iPhones or TV's don't sleep any more than the average American. They sleep 6 -7 hours on average at night. They also don't nap. If you get six or seven hours of sleep a night and you feel fine, then it is enough.

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The idea that running is bad for your knees is not valid

There is this idea that running wears away your cartilage and causes arthritis in the knees. But it is not valid. Studies show that people who run more are less likely to get arthritis in their knees and more likely to benefit from physical activity.

Knee injury is indeed most common among runners. But these injuries can be prevented by learning to run properly.

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Chairs with seatback contribute to back pain

Until recently, only the wealthy people had a chair with a seatback. Human beings used to either sat on the ground or on stools or benches.

A seatback makes sitting more passive than just sitting on a bench or stool because you use fewer muscles to stabilize your upper body. If you don't use your muscles in your body, they atrophy. And weak muscles make us more prone to pain.

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