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How To Increase Longevity

Life expectancy is at its all-time high, the fact that so many people are living longer, well into their 80s and 90s is wonderful.  However, the sad reality is that living longer doesn’t always include a good quality of life. Steven Berkman, owner of BOOST PHYSIO shares simple tips how you and your family can improve physical health and quality of life into later years.

“Start today to reduce the risk of poor health for you and your older loved ones. Making a conscious decision to take small steps (literally) from today, could make all the difference in your life going forward”, advises Steven.

Physical activity or exercise, when performed regularly, has been proven to prevent and help manage more than 20 chronic conditions. These include coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. Sadly, you can’t bank the benefits of exercise from your youth. Ideally being active throughout your lifespan would give optimal health benefits, however research has shown that health gains achieved through physical activity can be attained at any time. So, it doesn’t matter when you start as long as you start! 

“Everyday we help patients who have become immobile and struggle with daily activities such as climbing stairs or walking.  Taking simple steps to increase and improve physical activity helps these patients become more mobile and regain independence” says Steven.  Physical activity includes all forms of exercise, such as walking, cycling, dancing, gardening, sports, exercise classes and gym.

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for death. The latest research shows that a sedentary life is as great a risk factor as smoking and obesity, for heart disease risk. Sedentary behaviour is not simply a lack of activity but a cluster of individual behaviours where sitting or lying is the dominant mode of posture, and energy expenditure is very low. 

Inactivity was always associated as a cause of being overweight or obese, which in turn results in an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, the most current research has shown that even normal weight individuals that are inactive, are at risk of developing disease. 

Regardless of your activity starting point, there are benefits to be gained for anyone who increases their activity levels. Individuals that follow recommended physical activity guidelines have shown a 39% reduced risk of dying from any disease. Chartered Physiotherapist, Steven Berkman advises that anything is better than nothing – even doing half the amount of the recommended weekly activity has shown a 20% lower risk of mortality.

Regular physical activity roughly halves your chance of developing some cancers, like bowel and breast cancer. Studies have shown that people who continued to exercise once diagnosed with cancer had significantly less cancer deaths and any-cause death than those who were inactive.

Steven Berkman’s Top Tips For Improving Physical Health Into Later Life

  • Start today.
  • Do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily.
  • Walk and move more, use the car less.
  • Do something you will enjoy.  Do it consistently.
  • Social activities done with others like: tennis, golf and bowls are excellent.
  • Swimming, pilates, yoga, tai chi are all very good for flexibility, strength and balance.
  • Include activities that improve balance- can you balance on one leg for 15 seconds?

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BOOST PHYSIO works with major insurance companies like: BUPA, AVIVA, WPA, CIGNA and Simplyhealth. We usually deal directly with your insurance company.