A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition supported this notion and found that adults over 60 years old with reduced walking speed and sarcopenia, a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, showed a greater mortality risk than their age-mates with normal muscle mass and walking speed (2).
The APTA supports these studies with the claims:
Improved strength in older adults is associated with improved health, quality of life and functional capacity, and with a reduced risk of falls (1).
A carefully developed and individualized strength training program may have significant health benefits for older adults (1).
This advice is music to my movement-loving ears! Put simply—train the inner child within the older adult. Unleash the munchkins within!
Furthermore, another article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that cardiorespiratory fitness is protective against all-cause mortality (4). This means that endurance is also a core component of what I would call “the longevity equation.”
Strength + Speed + Endurance = Longevity
So how can we train all three components of this equation? What is one movement that can incorporate aspects of strength, speed, and endurance?