Physical Activity

High Levels of Exercise Linked to Nine Years of Less Aging at the Cellular Level

Despite their best efforts, no scientist has ever come close to stopping humans from aging. Even anti-aging creams can’t stop Old Father Time. But new research from Brigham Young University reveals you may be able to slow one type of aging – the kind that happens inside your cells. As long as you’re willing to sweat.

“Just because you’re 40, doesn’t mean you’re 40 years old biologically,” Tucker said. “We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies.”

The study, published in the medical journal Preventive Medicine, finds that people who have consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than those who have sedentary lifestyles, as well as those who are moderately active.¬†Telomeres are the protein endcaps of our chromosomes. They’re like our biological clock and they’re extremely correlated with age; each time a cell replicates, we lose a tiny bit of the endcaps. Therefore, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres.

Exercise science professor Larry Tucker found adults with high physical activity levels have telomeres with a biological aging advantage of nine years over those who are sedentary, and a seven-year advantage compared to those who are moderately active. To be highly active, women had to engage in 30 minutes of jogging per day (40 minutes for men), five days a week.

“If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won’t cut it,” Tucker said. “You have to work out regularly at high levels.”

Although the exact mechanism for how exercise preserves telomeres is unknown, Tucker said it may be tied to inflammation and oxidative stress. Previous studies have shown telomere length is closely related to those two factors and it is known that exercise can suppress inflammation and oxidative stress over time.

“We know that regular physical activity helps to reduce mortality and prolong life, and now we know part of that advantage may be due to the preservation of telomeres,” Tucker said.

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Source: ScienceDaily

Stronger Muscles for Improved Brain Function

Workout.Female.DumbellIn Australia, a University of Sydney study has linked improved cognitive function with stronger muscles using a steady regime of weightlifting exercises. Published in the Journal of American Geriatrics, the study used a system known as SMART (Study of Mental and Resistance Training). A trial was done on a group of patients age 55 to 68, suffering MCI (mild cognitive impairment). This condition is not as serious as full-blown dementia, as people affected only have mild cognitive symptoms not severe enough to disable them from normal daily life.

The aim of the study was to measure the effects of different physical and mental activities on the human brain. Researchers examined 100 people affected by MCI. They were divided into four groups, and assigned the activities as seen below:

  • Weightlifting exercises
  • Seated stretching exercises
  • Real cognitive training on a computer
  • Placebo training on a computer

The weightlifting trial lasted for 6 months with exercising done twice a week. As the participants got stronger, they increased the amount of weight for each exercise. The exercises were done while trying to maintain 80% or greater at their peak strength.

Surprisingly, only the weight training activity demonstrated a measured improvement in brain function. The stretching exercises, cognitive training, and placebo training did not yield any results. This proved a link between muscle strength gained through physical training and the improved cognitive functions. According to Doctor Yorgi Mavros, lead author of the study, there was a clear relationship between mental functions and increased muscular strength. And the stronger the muscles got the greater the mental improvement.

Doctor Mavros is a strong advocate for encouraging resistance exercises as people start to grow older. The result could be a much healthier aging population. Mavros stressed the need for exercising at least 2-3 time per week at a high enough intensity in order to get the maximum cognitive benefits.

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Source: WorldHealth.net.

Lifetime of Fitness: Fountain of Youth for Bone, Joint Health?

Business.Cloud.PhysicalActivity1Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging, according to a review of the latest research on senior athletes (ages 65 and up) appearing in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

It long has been assumed that aging causes an inevitable deterioration of the body and its ability to function, as well as increased rates of related injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures; diseases, such as obesity and diabetes; and osteoarthritis and other bone and joint conditions. However, recent research on senior, elite athletes suggests usage of comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines helps minimize bone and joint health decline and maintain overall physical health.

“An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system,” said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G. Vopat, MD. “A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.”

The positive effects of physical activity on maintaining bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function, and cartilage volume are keys to optimal physical function and health. In addition, the literature recommends a combined physical activity regimen for all adults encompassing resistance, endurance, flexibility and balance training, “as safely allowable for a given person.

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Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Lifetime of fitness: Fountain of youth for bone, joint health?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2014.

Lifestyle Interventions Such as Weight Loss And Exercise Reduce Risk of Death From Cardiovascular Diseases

Body.WeightLoss.TipsMany research studies have shown that lifestyle interventions, such as exercise programmes or weight loss, in people with impaired glucose tolerance (those at high risk of diabetes) can prevent progression to overt type 2 diabetes.

The risk of death from all-causes and cardiovascular diseases among people with type 2 diabetes is more than twice that of people of a similar age without diabetes. Logically, if lifestyle interventions reduce the risk of diabetes they should also reduce the excess risk of death, particularly from cardiovascular disease. However, without proof that lifestyle interventions will lead long-term health benefits such as reducing death rates in high-risk people, it is difficult for doctors to recommend it to their patients as an effective preventive therapy.

In new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, Professor Guangwei Li of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, and colleagues, present the results from the 23-year follow-up of the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study, a randomized controlled trial, which showed that people in China with impaired glucose tolerance randomized to lifestyle interventions had significantly reduced death rates from cardiovascular disease and all-causes, compared to those patients randomized to the control arm.

The investigators enrolled 438 patients assigned to intervention clinics, and 138 patients were assigned to control clinics. The study intervention lasted for 6 years, and patients were then followed up for 23 years. At the end of the follow-up period, cumulative incidence of death from cardiovascular disease was 11.9% in the lifestyle intervention group, versus 19.6% in the control group, and death from all causes was 28.1% in the lifestyle group versus 38.4% in the control group. The difference between groups for both outcomes was statistically significant.

Source: Medical News Today.