Exercise Keeps You Young

Duh, not exactly the sort of groundbreaking news you’ve come to expect from SRxA’s Word on Health.  However, before you click away from our humble blog, today we’re asking and answering the question “Just how young?”

Well, how about no gray hair, lots of energy, superior muscle mass and brain volume, and that’s just for starters.

At least that’s the case in mice. According to Canadian researchers when mice, who were genetically programmed to age quickly, exercised regularly starting at 3 months old for five month,s they aged dramatically differently than the mice who were sedentary. Those poor inactive mice were balding and frail, while the super-mice who ran the equivalent of a human 10K (6 miles), three times a week starting at age 20, were lean, muscular and youthful. They did not have the expected age-related shrinkage of their brains, hearts, muscles, skin, hair, ovaries, testicles, spleen, kidneys, and liver.

They were even were able to balance on narrow rods…though why a mouse would want to do that is beyond us!

The explanation for these incredible findings appears to be in the mitochondria. Aging in humans cause mitochondria to malfunction and die making you  look older. Additionally, anything that reduces the number or efficiency of mitochondria interferes with your body’s ability to burn fat and sugar for energy.  As a result, blood sugar, fat and cholesterol levels rise and you gain weight.

Exercise however, increases the number and size of mitochondria in your cells .

No doubt, the fact that their gonads were healthy made the students working with researcher, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, very, very impressed (and quite possibly, training for their first marathon).

We’d love to tell you more, but we too are going out for a run!