When it comes to the subject “anti-aging“, many would immediately blurt out products and procedures designed to keep the skin looking young, vibrant and healthy. Of course, we have a number of effective products and procedures that ward off signs of skin aging. However,often times, one of the most effective anti-aging weapons is rarely mentioned.
Exercise a Potent Anti-aging Weapon
What is this rarely mentioned potent anti-aging weapon? We are talking about exercise! Now don’t get disappointed and think that this post is full of useless anti-aging tips. The truth is, exercise as a potent anti-aging weapon is actually backed up by science. Continue on reading to find out just how exercise keeps you looking and feeling young.
A Study Proves Exercise is Effective Against Aging
Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and his colleagues conducted an experiment involving mice that had been genetically engineered to grow old at a faster pace. These lab mice had a genetic mutation which affected how well their bodies are able to repair malfunctioning mitochondria. It has probably been a long time since you heard the word mitochondria. This word is probably giving you flashbacks of your 7th grade biology class. Mitochondria are basically the powerhouses of the cell. Think of them as tiny or rather microscopic power generators in the cell. They combine oxygen and nutrients to create energy for the cell.
Mitochondria have their very own DNA, which is distinct from the cell’s genetic material. They also multiply on their own and small genetic mutations can accumulate in the process. However, within the cell are specialized repair systems which under normal circumstances correct these mutations. As we start gaining more years, the number of mutations start to wear down the ability of the cell’s repair system to do repairs. And this is when mitochondria start to malfunction and die.
It is considered by numerous scientists that the loss of healthy mitochondria plays an important role in triggering aging in mammals. As the mitochondria fail, this means that the cells no longer get the fuel they need so they wither or die which translates to muscles shrinking, hair falling out or starting to grey, brain volume drops, development of wrinkles and fine lines, and of course it would only be too soon that we start being old in both our outer appearance and beneath the surface.
Since in the experiment conducted by Dr. Tarnopolsky and his colleagues, they used lab mice with a genetic mutation that caused their mitochondrial repair system to not function as they should, their mitochondria started malfunctioning very early on, as early as 3 months old or 20 years in human life. By 8 months (about 60 years in human terms), the lab mice were extremely frail, weak, showing signs of aging and barely moving. All of these lab mice were dead before reaching 1 year of age.
But not the group of lab mice (with the same genetic mutation that impaired their mitochondrial repair mechanism as previously mentioned) that exercised regularly when they reached 3 months of age. By 8 months, while the other group of lab mice with no exercise were weak and decrepit, the active group of lab mice remained youthful and none of the mice in this group died of natural causes by the time they reached 1 year of age.
Perhaps the most astonishing finding that the researchers found is the fact that even with the genetic mutation that would have impaired mitochondrial repair, the exercising lab mice had more mitochondria in total and a lot lesser mutations compared to the lab mice who did not exercise.
So make sure that exercise is a part of your anti-aging routine.
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