Strengthen your core

Building the strength of the central muscles in your torso can help improve your balance and mobility.

You probably don’t give a lot thought to your core muscles, but they play a starring role in your daily life.

The core is critical for stability and functional motion day to day. For example, standing, bending, twisting, and sitting all require the core muscles. With a strong core, people can reach for glasses on high shelves and stay balanced awhile walking with heavy grocery bags.

Many people think of the abs – that is, the abdominal muscles – when they think of the core. But your core muscles actually are a much larger group. Essentially, your core includes all the major muscles in the area that connects your upper and lower body: not just the abdominal muscles, but also those in the back, sides, hips and buttocks. The core also includes the muscles in your pelvis, including those support your bladder, uterus, and other internal organs.

Dwindling muscles strength

If you’re over 30 and don’t do strength building exercises regularly, chances are you already have weaker core muscles than you dis in your 20s. Experts estimate that for every 10 years after age 30, people can lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass – this refers to muscle mass throughout the body. So, a 50-year-old woman who hasn’t kept in shape might have already lost 10% of her muscle mass.

The core is something that people tend to work on with personal trainers. But people who are not going to a gym and are not exercising are likely losing musculature everywhere, including their core.

When core muscles are weak, you not only may have harder time performing daily tasks, but also could experience:

  • Back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Incontinence
  • Balance problems that make you more prone to falls

What can you do to bolster your core muscles? There’s a host of exercises that can work this area. Your should strive to perform strength-building exercises at least twice a week in addition to your regular cardiovascular workouts.

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