It has long been accepted that healthy dietary habits and regular exercise improve quality of life, health, and cognitive function. But a new study has identified yet another factor that plays a role in keeping us mentally sharp and physically well.
Today we'll look at the study these scientists conducted, and learn how we can use what they discovered to make choices that support our long-term wellness.
Savers will be glad to know that the advice from these researchers fits perfectly within the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. In fact, the ORP provides just what you need to get these benefits, and today you'll learn how to do it.
Activity Patterns And Cognitive Performance In Older Adults
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh conducted a study with 1800 participants aged 65 and older to assess the relationship between their daily activity levels and their emotional wellbeing and cognitive function.
Each participant was assigned a wearable accelerometer that measured and recorded their physical activity for one week. Then, they filled out questionnaires about depressive symptoms and cognitive function.
The researchers used the accelerometer data to separate participants into four groups based on how early they started their day, how early they ended it, and how active they were overall. The researchers then compared the questionnaire responses of these four groups.
They found that the group which rose the earliest and remained consistently active for the longest had the lowest incidence of depression and reported the highest cognitive function. This result led the researchers to conclude that rising early and remaining active for 15 hours a day helped maintain the participants' good mental health and high cognitive function.1
Researchers measured 1800 older adults' activity levels for one week and compared the duration and intensity of their activity to their self-reported mental health and cognitive function. Analysis revealed that participants who rose the earliest and were the most consistently active for the longest duration reported the best mental health and cognitive function.
Duration And Consistency Mattered More Than Intensity
Notably, the factors that correlated to positive outcomes were length and consistency of activity, not intensity. That suggests that these results weren't about doing the most intense activities, but about following a sustainable pattern of activities each day. The happiest and highest functioning participants reported simple habits like rising and going to bed at the same time every day and filling their days with a consistent routine of physically engaging activities.1
Lead study author Stephen Smagula, Ph.D., had the following to say about the results.
“Our findings suggest that activity pattern disruption is very common and associated with health problems in older adults… The relationship is likely bi-directional, so the good news is we think that simple changes — things everyone can try — can restore regular activity patterns and doing so may improve health.”2
The researchers suggested that by increasing the duration and consistency of activity, it is possible to improve mental and cognitive health. They also acknowledged that the causative relationship between the two factors– activity levels and mental health— may go both ways. Depression and low cognitive function can make it harder to maintain a consistent level of activity.2
That makes increasing activity levels a useful strategy for improving mental health. And as mental health improves, that can make it easier to further increase activity levels, creating a positive feedback loop of improvement.
Duration and consistency of activity were more important than the intensity of activity. Researchers acknowledged that poor mental health can make it harder to maintain consistent activity levels. However, their findings suggest that increasing activity levels even a small amount can help improve emotional and cognitive health, making it easier to further increase activity levels.
The Tools For A Highly Active Bone Healthy Lifestyle
Keeping a daily full schedule of activities requires planning and attention. Fortunately, Savers have a lot of support from the tools and resources provided by the Save Institute. In fact, simply following the lifestyle recommendations of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program can create the framework for an optimally healthy activity level. Let's have a look.
- Early Morning Activity: There's nothing quite like a morning workout to start your day. With SaveTrainer, you don't even have to leave your home to begin your active day with the exercise program of your choice. You can welcome the sun with a yoga routine, a meditation program, or a set of bone-targeted weight-bearing exercises.
- Cooking Is An Activity: This study identified the value of engaging activities, which include preparing a healthy meal. The focus, attention, and physical engagement of cooking your own meals three times a day have many benefits. Those healthy bone-building meals also benefit your bones, mental health, and cognitive function.
- Going Outside And Getting Active: Exposure to the outdoors and physical activities are important parts of the ORP's lifestyle advice. That aligns perfectly with the robust daily activity patterns of the healthiest participant group in today's study. Whether it's a jog, a nice walk, a bike ride, a swim, or even yard work, these activities keep you sharp and healthy. Making it a consistent part of your daily schedule is key.
- Connecting With Community: Humans are social creatures, and regularly scheduled social activities keep us connected and active. Both results have benefits for your cognitive and physical health. Whether you're meeting up to exercise, play cards, volunteer for a local food pantry, dance, or attend cultural events– these sorts of activities on your calendar keep you busy. When you have a natural bone health community with other Savers, you always have like-minded people to connect with.
Savers have a robust kit of tools for staying active with bone-building activities. For example, rising early for a bone-building workout, cooking meals, getting outside and staying active, and connecting with a community of people dedicated to a natural approach to improving bone health.
What This Means To You
Set your alarm clock for the same time each day, nice and early. Build a consistent daily routine that keeps you engaged all day long. Make sure those hours include bone-strengthening activities such as preparing pH-balanced meals, doing bone-building exercises, and going on walks.
The Save Institute has a suite of resources designed to give you the tools you need to accomplish these goals. Since all of these resources focus on different elements of a bone-healthy lifestyle, they work best together.
That's why the Save Institute is offering the Save Our Bones All Access Bundle for $97. It provides instant digital access to all of our published programs, and because you're buying them together, we can offer them at a steep discount. As always, we offer a 60-day money-back guarantee so that you can try out these resources in full with zero risk.
You'll get the benefit of the Bone Appétit cookbook with over 200 recipes, the Densercise Epidensity Training System with fully illustrated instructions and an online video collection, the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse the bone-building accelerator to boost your progress, and of course the Osteoporosis Reversal Program that ties everything together with deep understanding and a holistic lifestyle plan to prevent and reverse osteoporosis.
If that sounds like a lot, it is! And according to today's study, we ought to be filling our days top to bottom with fully engaging activities, so “a lot” is exactly what we need!
Stay active and stay committed to the path of naturally improving the health and strength of your bones.
Comments on this article are closed.
Thank you for all your good information! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Good Health!!
I know this is true!
Thank you, Ita.
That’s quite an impressive study! Thank you for all the wonderful information!
My hindrance in implementing such a lifestyle is a chronic disease that can be a very big nuisance when I become too active especially in our extended heat season. I’ll be seeking ways to increase activity though… again thank you so much for your dedication to this wonderful goal!
This article is so true and close to my goal lifestyle. However, I live in a small studio apartment with limited cooking capability. A typical meal uses one stove pan and/or microwave dish. I do not get out often to shop or eat at a place with many choices. I have been creative about finding acceptable foods requiring no or minimal preparation. I would appreciate more information for myself and others with limitations wanting to eat productively. Thank-you for any assistance. PS I am nearly 80 and still able to team teach by working remotely on my computer.