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10 Jun 2021
Current kids are weaklings
A recent study found that 10 year olds in 2014 were 20 per cent weaker and had 30 per cent less muscle endurance than children of the same age measured in 1998. Pretty startling. Perhaps pretty obvious as well if you observe the sedentary life style of many kids nowadays.
Does it matter?
The answer is quite clearly yes.
People who are stronger in middle age have more grey matter and better memory 10 years later. One probable explanation (although possibly not the sole reason) is a hormone called osteocalcin which is released from bones when we humans move against gravity in any form of weight bearing exercise. Current studies indicate that a lack of osteocalcin could be linked to age related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease.
Other stay strong benefits for men & women
Retaining strength also helps our mental resilience, a decline of which may be signalled by the increasing and currently much publicised anxiety in our population.
Our sense of what we can achieve is built on the foundations of our bodily sensations. As well as keeping a constant check on heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels etc, our body has an unconscious sense of the health and state of our muscles and bones. This tracking of the agility and strength of the body’s movement apparatus (IE the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments that allow us to move) feeds into our implicit sense of what we can handle. Decreasing strength may be playing a significant part in this.
It is never too late. We can update our body any time. Strength is emerging as a powerful tool to tackle depression and anxiety.