The benefits of an active lifestyle compared to a sedentary one are well documented. But now, a recent study has found a possibly more specific connection between fitness and longevity: leg strength.
Stronger Legs for Longevity?
Can having strong legs help you live longer? A 10-year study released in November in the medical journal Gerontology by scientists at King's College London showed the stronger someone's legs are the better able their brain is to fight off the common signs of aging. The study followed sets of twins to compare their brain performance over time. When examining various aspects of the twins' lifestyles and physical attributes, leg strength stood out as having the most prevalent connection to cognitive health and function. The study was led by Dr. Claire Steves, who suggested just walking more often can make a big difference.
While more research will need to be conducted to determine the exact link of leg strength to brain health, it's another reason to make sure you hit your 10,000 daily steps.
Tips for Stronger Legs
Looking to up your leg strength? Here are some of our best tips to get you started:
- Make sure your exercise routine includes both cardio and strength training with weights.
- Take a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) supplement before and/or after training to support muscle recovery and growth.
- Work one or two rest days into your routine to reduce injury.
- Eat a diet rich in protein, whole grains and veggies to increase strength and size.
- Be sure to stretch before (dynamic) and after (static) you train.
Our Favorite Leg Exercises
These tried-and-true exercises can help you get the strong legs you're after, no matter if you're aiming for size or a leaner look:
- Front or standard squat
- Leg press
- Reverse or backwards lunge
- Sumo squat
- Jump squat
- Skater or curtsy lunge
- Calf raise
Try these tips and exercises to get your strongest legs ever. Check back soon for more health news and info!