The Secret to Living Longer

 In Blog, Dublin
Old Man Conlan

Old Man Conlan

As humans we want to maximise our time spent on planet earth. We want to live long, healthy and fulfilled lives. But what are the physical factors that determine how long we will live? The majority of Irish people would agree with the following: cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, or family history. But, Dr. Andy Galpin, a human bioenergeticist, at California State University Fullerton has made some interesting findings. He has narrowed it down to three physical factors that will determine a person’s ability to live independently: leg strength, V02 max and lean body mass.

1. Leg Strength

All muscles require blood pressure, supplied by your heart, in order to operate. Easy tasks will require low blood pressure where as difficult tasks will require high blood pressure. So, it follows that strong legs will make your life easier and help keep your blood pressure low. The stronger your legs are the easier it will be to perform a daily task – such as standing, walking, squatting and bending. We perform these universal movement patterns multiples times a day. The weaker your legs are the more of a chance you will end up in a nursing home or not being able to live independently. So don’t miss the squats in Perpetua or if you’re really keen come to the Strength and Movement classes. You are more likely to have higher blood pressure the weaker your legs are.

2. VO2 max

What the hell is VO2 max? It’s how your body can take in oxygen and deliver it to your muscles. Basically VO2 max is a fancy term for describing how well we breathe under physical stress. It is important to be able to take in Oxygen. If we can’t take in oxygen we die. “V02 max for the average untrained male is 35-40 and for a female it’s 27-31. In order to get yourself out of bed, you will need a V02 max of at least 20.” How to Increase your VO2 max? Exercise. By coming into Perpetua and doing our CrossFit classes. Inactivity, ageing and sickness will decrease your VO2 max. “Compare two people at age 80, one with a V02 max of 30 and one at 21. Can you guess who will rebound from pneumonia and who will find themselves stuck in a hospital bed?”

3. Lean Body Mass

Your body mass is made up of weight from your skeleton, fat, fluids, and muscle. But we are specifically talking about the amount of muscle mass on your body. Lean Body Mass is your weight minus the amount of fat on your body. Think of muscle mass as a holding tank of amino acids. Proteins are built and repaired by amino acids. Protein in the body is the body’s primary building block for muscle, bone, skin, hair, and many other tissues are protein. If your body gets damaged or you become sick your body turns to protein for help. Protein is stored in the muscle tissue. Therefore the more muscle mass you have the faster you can recover from illness. We must eat enough protein to build muscle. Everyone should be eating at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Also we have to be preforming strength/resistance training to stimulate the muscle. As we age, we will inevitably face some common ailment: pneumonia, cancer, broken bones, etc. But, with the help of muscle we will be able to recover quickly and continue living independently.


“Doctors and Nurses have been trained to perform blood testing, read blood pressure and utilize a height and weight chart because these are indicators of health. But, they are not the determinants of health. Blood cholesterol/pressure medicine and gastric bypasses are all ways to deal with the indicators but not the determinants. In order to become healthy you need to improve the determinants of health: Leg strength, V02 max and lean body mass.”

In Perpetua we account for all these physical factors in our programming. We offer the perfect blend to hit all these physical factors. Want to live longer? Come and train in Perpetua.

Visit to find out more and sign up for your FREE intro session.


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