Predictors of Mortality?

We all want to be healthy, live long and enjoy quality living.  But what are the things that we should focus on? There are tons of supplements, workout plans, and diet plans that claim to be the solution to all of your health problems. With more and more information out there, we are in the state of confusion.

So what are the known markers for predicting how long you are going to live?  Latest research suggests the following as the top 5 leading predictors of mortality are: Leg Strength, VO2 Max, Lean Muscle Mass, Foot Speed, and Grip Strength. (Click on each of the 5 items to read the research papers associated with them)

This resembles the NHL combine!

(This should also explain why Fight For Hearts designs all of our fitness workouts with an "athlete" approach....scaling and varying intensities based on our members, of course).

So what does this research tell us? We know that after age of approximately 30 years, our body starts to lose muscle mass at a rate of 3%-5% every decade (known as Sarcopenia). In the senior citizen population, Sarcopenia increases the risk of falling (lack of muscle strength). Combine this with lack of mobility and stability, and we have a recipe for disaster. Foot speed, as well as leg strength are the primary mechanisms that will help you avoid a fall. When you have adequate mobility to utilize optimal movement patterns, as well as stability (engaging the correct stabilizing muscles when needed) it can significantly improve your chances of avoiding falls.  With aging adults, there is a greater chance of breaking bones during a fall due to reduced bone density (known as Osteoperosis). There is also a strong relationship between bone density and lean muscle mass, 

Primary treatment for Sarcopenia is exercise, and increasing muscle mass can also counteract the negative effects of Osteoporosis. 

Fight For Hearts workouts with senior population resemble athlete workouts (with adjusted intensities and scaling) with a goal of improving quality of life.  Without adequate mobility, we risk injuries, our bodies compensate (which increase difficulty of movement) so we naturally want to stop (leading to sedentary lifestyle over time). A great test for mobility and stability is FMS (Functional Movement Screen), which Fight For Hearts uses. Its a known fact that working muscles through partial range of motion will only produce partial results, so mobility becomes crucial in maximizing strength training. Once we address the mobility/stability, our workouts will focus on aerobic conditioning (which helps increase VO2 Max), and strength training using resistance bands (low impact). We also utilize different breathing techniques throughout the workout for a specific goal.  All of our workouts start with a blood pressure screening, warm-ups and progress from there.

We strongly encourage all of our senior members to do strength exercises, along with cardiovascular exercise, and daily mobility work.  There is no magic pill, food and exercise is medicine, while medication is a band-aid (in most cases). Improving your overall quality of life will also improve your heart health, and a well rounded workout plan can get you there.

For any questions, comments, or if you would like more information, feel free to contact us




Srdan Lukic