During week one, we discussed myths about core exercise. This week we will focus on the benefits. When people ask me the most important thing to focus on as we age, my answer is always core strength. When the core muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis, and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support for your extremities' movements. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all these muscle groups to be effective. Core strength is more than sit-ups.
Decrease low back pain
A Strong and balanced core helps to maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine. We are designed to work with gravity to decrease the workload on our bodies. When our posture is off, it creates more work on the spine stabilizers to keep us upright.
Improve your Balance
Your core muscles are activated with most of our daily activities. Walking, hiking, running all require core activation to keep you upright. Strong core muscles are needed to help you to self-right when unsteady. When you change direction, you activate your core muscles. Your core helps to stabilize your body and reduce the risk of falling.
Improves your functional mobility
There are day-to-day tasks that require a strong core foundation—running the vacuum, picking up laundry baskets, gardening, and so many more. Your spine is essential for stability, not mobility. So the stronger your core, the more stable your spine, the more resilient you are for day to day tasks.
Improve your Posture
As we have already discussed, the core involves the muscles along the spine. These muscles help keep the natural curves in the spine for perfect posture. Having strong core muscles allow you to stand taller and to breathe deeper. When your body holds a good position, it works with gravity instead of against gravity. This decreases the energy your body needs to use to keep yourself upright.
Decreases potential injury
Most movements that involve your extremities (arms and legs) first require core activation. We have already discussed how your core strength improves your balance, which decreases your fall risk. When your spine is protected, you are less likely to experience injury in day to day actions.
Check out Week #2 Exercises HERE