A Functional MD's Quick Trick To Test Lower-Body Strength
In a recent TikTok video, functional medicine doctor and mbg Collective member Amy Shah, M.D., said, "Lower body strength is so important for brain health and aging," and several studies have supported that.
The link between lower-body strength and longevity.
Another 2018 study, which Shah cites in her video, looked at what would happen if mice stopped using their back legs for 28 days. Turns out, not maintaining or utilizing that lower-body muscle mass decreased brain cells by 70%2. These effects can increase the risk for dementia, Alzheimer's, or other neurodegenerative disorders.
So, all-in-all, "Lower-body strength is such a huge marker for health," Shah tells mbg. So, how do you know if yours is on track?
How to test your lower-body strength.
In the TikTok, Shah demonstrates a quick sit-stand test to check your lower-body strength function, and yes, it's as simple as it sounds:
- Sit down, crisscross.
- Stand up using only leg strength. (Try to keep your hands in prayer pose to avoid the temptation of using your arms for momentum.)
- Repeat this five times in a row.
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.