Using Exercise To Reverse The Aging Process
It’s no secret that regular exercise brings a host of benefits to your life. It staves off disease, increases your regular energy level, helps you focus on complicated tasks, and generally gives you a feeling of health and well-being. But did you know that exercise can actually reverse the aging process? According to a recent study, exercise doesn’t only make you feel younger, it actually impacts your age on the cellular level.
The recent study brought together twenty-five senior citizens and put them through a six-month program of fairly rigorous strength training. At the beginning of the study, the organizers took samples of cells from the thigh muscle of each participant, and then did the same six months later. They then compared these cells to those of a group of volunteers in their early twenties. The researchers were certainly expecting to see that the participants had increased their strength during the study, but they were shocked to find a much more significant change. After six months in the program, they found that the senior citizens were showing alterations at the genetic level, and the cells they took at the end of the program looked much more like those donated by the younger participants.
So how is this result possible through exercise? The researchers found that the level of exercise a person engages in is definitely important. The seniors in the study completed two sessions of strength training a week, with each session running for one hour. They used machines that can commonly be found at any gym, and ran a traditional workout, consisting of three, ten-repetition sets covering each muscle group. The weight was not as important as the consistency, as the seniors lifted far less weight than their youthful counterparts would. The participants were also in relatively good health at the beginning of the study, and were already leading a fairly active lifestyle. That means that issues relating to disease could be pulled out of the study.
Prior to the study, the researchers identified six hundred individual genes that alter as we age. The majority of those genes become less active the older we get. After the six-month study, more than 30% of those genes had changed. It’s not a majority, but significant enough to suggest that regular exercise has a real impact on age at the cellular level. In fact, the genes that changed over the study were all related to how our mitochondria functions, which basically controls transforming the nutrients we take into our bodies into energy the cells can use.
That means the aging reversal that can be experienced through exercise will always leave you with more energy, one of the benefits of exercise people report at any age. The fantastic thing is that this energy shift is a long-term change in the body, not just a side effect of building up a sweat. This sort of telomerase activation proves that regardless of your age, exercise can prolong your life. So put those excuses aside and get to the gym. The benefits are just too plentiful to ignore.