A new study published in Cell Metabolism found a new solution against ageing. It suggests that exercise, and, in particular, interval training of high intensity, such as walking of cycling, can stop ageing from a cellular level.
The research shows how physical activity can prompt the cells to make more proteins and give them to the mitochondria and ribosomes, which are responsible with producing energy. They also produce protein building blocks in our cells.
Dr. Sreekumaran Nair from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who is the leading author of the study, says that, at this point, there is no substitute for interval training in the fight against ageing. Such processes cannot be caused by any medicine.
For their study, researchers looked at a group of 36 men and 36 women who belonged to two different age groups. One age group involved people aged between 18 and 30, while the other was ‘older’, with people between 65 and 80 years.
The subjects had to follow three different exercise programs, namely high-intensity interval biking, strength training with weights, and a combination of interval and strength training. Then, the researchers took samples from the thigh muscles of the participants.
They compared the molecules from their muscles to samples from sedentary people. They also looked at their insulin sensitivity and at their amount of lean muscle mass.
Strength training was better for developing muscle mass, but the interval training was what brought the best results at the cellular level. The younger subjects increased their mitochondrial capacity by 49 percent, while the older ones saw an impressive increase of 69 percent.
Interval training was also good in improving their insulin sensitivity. This means that it helps them become less likely to develop diabetes.
During the ageing process, the mitochondria in our cells start producing less energy. However, exercise can boost the production of proteins for mitochondria and for muscle growth. Muscle cells divide quite rarely and are hard to replace once they wear out. The function of muscle tissue decreases with age.
However, exercise can restore the damage produced in muscle cells. This suggests that it might help in the restoration of other tissues, too. Scientists need more research, but there is no doubt that exercise has a lot of positive effects on our health and bodies.
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