Can boxing today help prevent a hip fracture 30 years from now?
by Angie Kennedy at American Heavyweight www.americanheavyweight.com
As we age, we naturally lose muscle strength and mass both in our extremities and our core. By the time we get to age 50, a person can lose 0.4 pounds of muscle every year. This is one of the reasons older adults lose the ability to catch themselves if they trip. For example you stub your toe, lurch and land awkwardly on your feet. A quick look around to see if anyone saw your misstep and you go on your way. You can thank your core muscles and the muscles around your hips for keeping you upright! However, older adults aren’t able to catch themselves as easily and often fall on an outstretched hand or on a hip. Fractures due to a fall, such as wrist or hip fractures, are extremely common among older adults, particularly over age 65 years. This may seem like a long way off for some of us but the work we put in at the gym now can make a difference between an embarrassing trip on a sidewalk and a painful trip to the emergency room later.
Exercise can dramatically slow down a decline in muscle as we age. An article in the journal Sports Medicine, stressed the importance of trunk muscle (core) strength for balance, functional performance and fall prevention in seniors.
Boxing fitness combines strength training, core muscle conditioning and balance, and is an excellent blend of total body fitness that encourages mind-body connection, multi-directional movement and high-intensity effort. The twisting movements and counter-forces from punches and blocks engage the entire core, back and hips. The muscles engaged during boxing are those same muscles used to keep us upright, balanced and stable during our activities of daily life. Including boxing as part of a regular fitness routine can help maintain muscle mass and strength and may decrease or eliminate the falls, functional decline, and loss of independence that are commonly seen in aging adults.
Granacher U, Gollhofer A, Hortobágyi T, Kressig RW, Muehlbauer T. The importance of trunk muscle strength for balance, functional performance, and fall prevention in seniors: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2013 Jul;43(7):627-41.
Brauer CA, Coca-Perraillon M, Cutler D, Rosen AB. Incidence and Mortality of Hip Fractures in the United States JAMA. 2009;302(14):1573-1579