Olympic Lifting can Increase Lifespan & Quality of Life April 26, 2016 – Posted in: News

Olympic Lifting and whole body exercise can increase longevity and improve quality of life, says Dr. Vern Neville

Do you know what percentage of a typical day the average person is on their feet (standing or walking)? 1.5%. We spend 98.5% of the day sitting (or lying);  that is 1420 minutes out of a total of 1440 minutes in a day. The average person sleeps 6 to 8 hours, gets up to brush their teeth and get dressed, then sits to eat breakfast. Walks to the car, then sits on the way to work, walks into the office, then sits at the desk all day. Walks to lunch, then sits to eat, walks to the car at 5pm, then sits and drives to the gym. Even in the gym we sit! on the bike, on the machines and then we sit in the car on the way home, sit in the bath, sit and eat dinner, sit on the sofa and finally, we sit/lay down to sleep.

The human body was designed to move, we were built to walk, run, hunt, gather, however the requirements of today’s world has completely changed the way our bodies were designed to function; we are no longer doing the movements and activities that we are created to do. We are sitting 23.5 hours per day, and research has shown that sitting (and lying) for up to 14 hours per day will increase heart disease by as much as 64% and our life expectancy is 7 years less, we have a 30% greater risk of cancer and a 65% greater risk of diabetes. When we sit our metabolism slows down, our heart gets lazy, cholesterol builds up, fats get stored, our veins and arteries become rigid, ligaments and tendons loose their rigidity, mobility decreases, joints start to seize, bone density decreases, acidity increases, the risk of cancer and heart disease increases.

So why are we not moving?

We have a responsibility in the fitness industry to promote movement. We should be encouraging people not to be sitting on machines but to exercise with whole body movements. Although bikes and seated machines have their roles, functional movement based exercise, such as free weight training are the most effective training methods for health, wellbeing and longevity. Exercises like squatting, Olympic lifting, wood chopping, burpees, running and jumping are extremely important for longevity. Yet, most gyms only have a small area available for functional training and or whole body exercise. Apart from Olympic lifting being one of the most effective methods of strength and power training for sports and performance the movements have exceptional neural benefits which include; neural motor recruitment, energy transfer facilitation, balance, coordination, flexibility, as well as improvement in circulation and increased cardiovascular health. In addition, whole body exercise allows for maximal activation of all biological and physiological systems in a short time period, allowing for a more efficient workout. Lets get people off their bums and moving!