Is exercise a fountain of youth? Personally I think so and now there is some research to go along with my ideas. This article shows how exercise can help seniors stick around longer and have a better quality of life as well as possibly a longer life.
Exercise Can Reverse the Aging Process
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Hitting the gym may help seniors find the fountain of youth.
A new study from Ontario, Canada finds exercise, specifically resistance training, rejuvenates muscle tissue in healthy senior citizens.
Researchers looked at gene expression profiles in tissue samples from 25 healthy men and women older than age 65 before and after they did six months of resistance training twice a week and compared them to tissue samples from younger healthy men and women age 20 to 35.
The gene expression profiles or molecular "fingerprints" focused on the function of mitochondria -- the "powerhouse" of cells. Previous research suggests mitochondrial dysfunction has something to do with the loss of muscle mass and functional impairment, which is commonly seen in older people.
The study showed there was a decline in mitochondrial function with age in older adults. However, exercise reversed the genetic fingerprint back to levels similar of younger adults. Results also show before exercise training, the older adults were 59 percent weaker than the younger ones. After strength training, the older adults became only 38 percent weaker than the young adults.
"We were very surprised by the results of the study," lead researcher Simon Melov, Ph.D., was quoted as saying. "We expected to see gene expressions that stayed fairly steady in the older adults. The fact that their 'genetic fingerprints' so dramatically reversed course gives credence to the value of exercise, not only as a means of improving health, but of reversing the aging process itself, which is an additional incentive to exercise as you get older."
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SOURCE: PLoS One, published online May 22, 2007