New Year’s Mobility Test and Three Indicators of Early Death

New Year’s Mobility Test and Three Indicators of Early Death. 

This year, I’m (Dr. Levi) starting a New Year’s tradition by taking a mobility test. Sounds exciting, right? Well, working in health care and struggling with my own health recently, I feel the need to check in with myself and identify what changes I need to make. After all, if we’re supposed to do an annual physical looking at blood pressure, blood sugars (and everything else on a blood panel) and body fat shouldn’t we also look at mobility indicators that affect our longevity?

My favorite test for mobility is the Sitting Rising Test (SRT) and guess what? I FAILED it, miserably. I used to be able to do it and score an 8 or sometimes even a 9 on a 10-point scale. But, with holiday weight gain, emotional stress and lack of simple walking and yoga, my old injuries reared their ugly head resulting in diminished pelvic/lower back and core function. Other than being uncomfortable and being limited in my daily functions, why should I worry about this? Simply put, if you can’t move well, you’re not healthy. Immobility leads to injuries, weight gain, susceptibility to illness and metabolic stress. Ultimately, this leads to premature death. There are a couple other indicators as well, so keep reading. The SRT is just the one that I’m struggling with.

Here is a summary of three major indicators that can predict premature death and what you can do about it.

  1. Frequent Falls. Falling a lot suggests that your body awareness is hindered (Being Mortal, Atul Gawande) and leads to significant injuries. Often times this starts with dysfunction in your feet. Try stretching your feet (additional video), reading this book to minimizing foot stress and improving your balance. Additionally, spinal imbalances contribute to falls at any age and are easily improved with regular chiropractic care. If you haven’t been to your chiropractor in a while, now’s a good time to get in for a tune-up!
  2. Poor Mobility. Try the Sitting Rising Test (SRT). Your performance, or lack thereof, can predict your longevity. Did you score less than eight points? Start moving in ways your body isn’t accustomed to. Use these videos as a starting point for adding new movements to improve mobility and perform the SRT once a week.
  3. Grip Strength. A 2015 study found that poor grip strength can be a stronger indicator of morbidity than blood pressure. The reason is simply that people with stronger hands tend to move their bodies more. But don’t go out and buy grip strengtheners. Rather, start raking your own lawn, shovel snow with a shovel (when possible), practice hanging (or even repetitions of pull-ups) for long periods of time, plant a garden and care for it daily or carry your small children on a walk rather than use a baby-carrier. Basically, try to add as much variable activity to everything you do! (Movement Matters)

Want to learn more about how to improve your mobility? Try Chiropractic! If your spine is not functioning optimally, all three of the previously mentioned categories will be hindered. Call us today to improve alignment and well-being to live longer, happier and healthier!