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If you're unhappy with your score, there's no need to panic. Regular physical activity can restore some of youth's vim and vigour. And for those who scored eight or more and want to maintain their level of physical function as the years add up, exercise can keep you more than just young at heart.

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To be clear, exercise doesn't delay the outer vestiges of aging, which means grey hair and wrinkles are inevitable. What's no longer a given is that one's chronological age is a match with one's physiological age. Some of the physical decline once associated with age is now thought to be the result of inactivity.

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Katie Wiwchar demonstrates the sit and rise test: stand in bare feet with feet crossed then lower yourself to the floor and get back up. Stand in bare feet with your feet crossed then lower yourself to the floor and get back up.

"Scores of less than eight (that is, requiring more than one hand or knee support to sit and rise from the floor in a stable way) were associated with two to five fold higher death rates over six years in men and women age 51 80," said the researchers in their paper published in the Cargo Harden Vol 1

part of the movement and deduct two points. A hand and two knees is a loss of three points. A half a point is deducted if there's a loss of steadiness anywhere from the start of the test to the finish.

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All of these basic movements of everyday life demand a certain measure of strength, flexibility and co ordination that decline if they go unused, which is what the Brazilian researchers hoped to demonstrate with the sit and rise test.

Use the test as a wake up call. If you scored below eight, it's time to start moving. Join the gym and perform exercises like squats, lunges, step ups and caterpillars, all of which increase strength, range of motion and balance. Or start including yoga or boot camp classes into your repertoire.

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The sit and rise test was performed on more than 2,000 men and women between the ages of 51 and 80 who were then followed for six years. When test scores were compared with mortality rates, there was a three year shorter life expectancy among those who got down and up with aid than without.

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If you're able to get down and up without the use of both hands or any other body part for support, you've maintained a level of physical function enough to reduce your risk of death, says a team of Brazilian researchers.

is necessary to get back up. Use a hand and a knee to assist in any Adidas Eqt Olive

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Low scores increase the risk of falling, suggests the research team, which is a leading cause of injury among the elderly. It also provides a measure of how your strength, flexibility and co ordination has diminished over the years.

The goal then is to hit the gym, and not just for any old workout. Exercises that build strength and flexibility will help raise your score. Yoga is a great example as it improves flexibility, increases muscular strength and endurance and works on balance, all elements of fitness that diminish with age.

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´╗┐Are you old before your time

So while not everyone has dreams of being an elite senior athlete, the desire to maintain the vitality of youth is almost universal. The secret to feeling like a kid is moving like one. With age, we tend to move in increasingly smaller ranges of motion and stay in one gear. Kids, on the other hand, rarely let a day go by without breaking into a run, hopping over a crack in the sidewalk or squatting to pick something up off the ground.

The test claims to measure functional fitness, defined as the strength, flexibility and co ordination necessary to perform the tasks of everyday life. Sitting and rising without assistance scores a perfect 10. If one hand is needed for support on the way down, a point is subtracted from the score. Subtract another point if a hand Adidas Duramo 6 Green

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This piece of advice extends to anyone in their middle years and beyond regardless of whether or not they can run a marathon, cycle a century or swim a couple of kilometres. Cardiorespiratory fitness is only one measure of health and fitness. Runners, swimmers and cyclists may struggle with the sit and rise test due to a lack of flexibility, co ordination Adidas High Tops Womens White and, in some cases, strength. That should serve as a reminder to work on other components of fitness than just cardio.

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Studies of elite senior athletes have noted superior cardiovascular, muscle, bone and joint health compared to inactive subjects 20 years younger. And while age catches up to even the fittest of the fit, the idea of a retirement spent with your feet up and a good book in hand is no longer considered the best way to spend your golden years.

A score of eight or more is considered functionally fit. A score below eight is worthy of concern.

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

And for those who scored eight or above, you can't afford to rest on your laurels. Stay active and remember to work on all elements of physical fitness.

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