Poor core muscle strength linked to premature death



People who struggle with simple physical acts such as balancing on one leg are at risk of an early death, according to a new study.

It has long been thought that good balance and core muscle strength indicates a healthy body, and this recent research appears to confirm this.

People who are better at simple physical acts such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg are more likely to live longer.

Measures of physical capability, such as grip strength, walking speed, chair rising time and standing balance ability, can predict mortality in older people living in the community, UK researchers found.

These measures are related to a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks. There is growing interest in using such measures as simple screening tools to identify people who might benefit from targeted interventions such as strength training.

Researchers, including Rachel Cooper, from the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing reviewed 57 studies and found 28 that looked at physical capabilities in people of any age and recorded subsequent mortality. They excluded studies of people in institutions such as hospitals and care homes. The results from 5 other studies were eventually included. Within those studies considered, 14 looked at grip strength, 5 with walking speed and 5 with chair rising.

The team found that, although there was some variation between studies, there was consistent evidence of associations between all four measures of physical capability and mortality – people who performed less well in these tests had a consistently higher risk of death.

Most of the studies were carried out amongst older people, but the association of grip strength with mortality was also found in younger populations.

The authors say that this review has highlighted the lack of studies in this field in younger populations, and they also call for more research to examine the associations between changes in capability with age and mortality, as a steep decline in physical capability may be a better predictor of mortality than is the absolute level at a single point in time.

Many low impact exercises such as those included in Pilates and Yoga sessions can help with improving your core muscle strength. Improving your core muscle strength in turn improves your balance. Making sure you exercise using both the left and right sides of your body equally assists in keeping your body balanced while walking and even standing still.

Get the complete story at www.bmj.com

Model Nell McAndrew reveals core muscle secrets


Nell McAndrew shows us some simple exercises in this live webTV show tomorrow at 14.00 GMT to explain to women of all ages the benefits of strengthening their core muscles.

For women generally, health and wellbeing is of increasing importance. From step-ups to squats, we know the exercises we need to be doing to keep our body in shape. But one group of muscles often overlooked are our pelvic floor muscles.

Your pelvic floor is a complex network of muscles and ligaments reaching from your pubic bone to your spine, providing essential support for your bladder, womb and bowel. These muscles can stretch and weaken through pregnancy and childbirth, age or lack of exercise. A common side-effect of weakened pelvic floor muscles is bladder weakness – something which affects one in four women over the age of 35 in the UK.

Fortunately almost three-quarters of bladder weakness cases triggered by a weakened pelvic floor can be remedied with simple exercises. The exercises improve core muscle strength, contributing to better posture and a flatter tummy.

Joining us on this live webTV show will be Nell McAndrew who will demonstrate a few of the simple exercises that could make a world of difference to your figure and quality of life. She’s joined by Gill Brook, a women’s health physiotherapist who has worked in the specialty for over 20 years.

Nell McAndrew joins us live online at Nell McAndrew’s Core Muscle Exercises

on Wednesday 24th February at 2pm to discuss pelvic floor strength and demonstrate some simple exercises.

About Nell

Nell McAndrew is no stranger to a tough workout regime. The model and TV star and mum of one, has released four of her own fitness videos and makes it her priority to keep fit and healthy.

Click here to submit questions before the chatFor more information visit www.corewellness.co.uk