This month's Bulletin is all about living the longest, healthiest life possible– and the newest research that shows us how to.
First, we'll look at a study that examined the physical impact of an important measure of self-perception: how young we feel. You'll discover how feeling young and staying young are closely linked.
Then we'll learn about a short physical test that researchers found predictive of early death. You'll be amazed at how simple it is to try the test for yourself — even at home.
Finally, we'll look at a massive review study that examined the effect of strength training on mortality risk. You'll learn how the Save Institute's recommendations for weight-bearing exercise also have incredible benefits for longevity!
Feeling Younger Leads To Staying Healthier
Researchers at Bar-Ilan University found that study participants who reported feeling younger were more likely to successfully complete rehabilitation from medical conditions.
The study tracked 194 patients aged 73 to 84 years who were enrolled in a rehabilitation program for osteoporotic fractures or stroke. The researchers studied the relationship between their progress in rehabilitation and how youthful they reported feeling.
“Interviewers asked patients about their “subjective age” (how young they felt), feelings, and experiences. Meanwhile, the team measured functional independence using the Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) test on two occasions: once during the participants’ admission to the rehab program and again at discharge.
Sure enough, patients who reported feeling younger subjectively than their actual age at admission showed better functional independence at discharge — roughly one month later. The benefits of feeling young held true for patients recovering from both stroke and fractures. Patients who felt youthful also tended to be more optimistic about their recovery process.”1
This illustrates how our body and our mind are both important and interconnected parts of health. There is a great deal of study on how factors like mood and an optimistic outlook impact health outcomes. That's a great reminder that taking care of your mental and emotional wellbeing is a critical part of taking care of your overall health.
Researchers found that study participants who reported feeling younger were more likely to successfully complete rehabilitation programs after an osteoporotic fracture or stroke. How we feel has a direct impact on how we heal and on our overall health.
One-Leg Standing Time Linked To Risk Of Death
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that middle-aged participants who were unable to stand on one leg for at least 10 seconds were at higher risk of dying within the next 10 years.
The report is based on data from a study of fitness and health that included 1,702 participants over the age of 50 in Brazil.
“Researchers found volunteers who struggled with the simple balancing test were 84% more likely to die in the next 10 years than those who could stand unsupported, after taking into account variables like age and illness… Participants were asked to lift one foot and place it behind the opposite lower leg — without touching the ground — while keeping their arms at their sides and looking forward. They were allowed three attempts. One-in-five failed the test, generally those who were older or in poorer health. “2
When researchers examined the medical records of people who failed to pass the balance test, they found that 17.5% of them died within the next ten years. Among those who passed the test, only 4.5% died.
While this study doesn't offer data about causes of death or the mechanisms behind this association, it does provide a simple tool for assessing the likelihood of early death. If you decide to try it at home, make sure you have a wall or something else at hand to catch yourself if you lose your balance.
Fortunately, it's possible to improve your balance by doing balance-building exercises. And when you increase the amount of exercise you do, you get a host of additional benefits as well.
Researchers found that study participants who could not balance on one leg for at least ten seconds were 84% more likely to die in the next 10 years than those who could stand unsupported. Fortunately, you can build your balance through targeted exercise.
30 To 60 Minutes Of Strength Training Per Week Decreases Risk Of Death
Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan reviewed 16 international studies to determine the correlation between muscle-strengthening exercise and risk of death.
The studies they reviewed were extensive, lasting as long as 25 years. The smallest study included 4,000 participants and the largest included nearly 480,000 people.
All of the studies compared participants' muscle-strengthening physical activity levels to their lifespan.
“Results showed doing between 30-60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity per week lowered the risk of dying by up to 20 percent. Such muscle-building activities can include squats, push-ups and sit-ups, as well as digging and shoveling in the garden.
Tohoku University experts say the benefits are even greater when looking specifically at the risk of death from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. “3
The study authors also found that the benefits were greatest when muscle-strengthening physical activity was combined with 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. That combination offered a reduction in the risk of death of 40% for all causes, 28% for cancer, and 46% for cardiovascular disease.
This aligns with the recommendations of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, which encourages regular sessions of weight-bearing exercise alongside a wide variety of aerobic physical activities to build muscle and bone while improving overall health.
Researchers in Japan reviewed 16 major studies and found that study participants who did 30 to 60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity per week reduced their risk of dying by up to 20 percent. The study authors further recommended getting an additional 150 minutes per week of aerobic exercise for maximum mortality risk reduction.
What This Mean To You
Strive to feel younger– as studies have shown, it has a measurable impact on your health. Get plenty of exercise– including muscle-building physical activities, aerobic exercise, and balance training. The studies above make clear how important they are to living a long and healthy life.
That knowledge has been at the core of the Save Institute since the very beginning; that's why we created Save Trainer. Save Trainer is an online workout platform that offers targeted workout videos with professional trainers. SaveTrainer offers you easy and effective guidance to practice the type of physical activity you need– whether you're looking to build strength, improve your balance and bone health, and enhance the feeling of youthfulness.
Save Trainer makes it easier for you to take the steps you need to achieve your bone health and overall health goals.