The secret to staying young? Doing moderate physical exercise throughout your life. In fact, those who have always done physical activity show more active muscles, greater resistance to fatigue and a higher number of muscle stem cells than young but sedentary people. In short, exercising rejuvenates. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in The Journal of Physiology by a team from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Soendenbroe et al, The Journal of Physiology, 2022).
The important thing is to move
That physical activity is an elixir of youth is already known to scientists. However, to date, there has been a lack of studies on the benefits of moderate amateur exercise on people who are not professional athletes. Precisely to fill this gap and have a result that was real, since the majority of the population does not perform physical activity at a professional level, the Danish researchers have developed the study we are talking about today.
How exercise rejuvenates
Scientists have recruited 46 men. The volunteers were divided into three groups. The first group consisted of people aged 68 and over who had been active all their life. This meant that they had always done various physical activities at an amateur level, such as swimming, cycling, rowing, tennis, brisk walking or even resistance exercises, according to their preferences. The second group was made up of young individuals, under 40, but sedentary, while the third group of people over 68 years old and sedentary. All study participants underwent resistance exercise that involved straightening the knee while muscle strength was measured. Not only that, blood and muscle tissue samples were also taken. What emerged was that older people who had remained active had outperformed both their peers and young people who were sedentary in performance, strength and resistance to fatigue. Not only that, it was found that the older volunteers who had kept active also had a higher number of muscle stem cells, called satellite cells. These satellite cells come into play when it comes to regenerating muscle, making it develop and grow, and to protect from nerve decay. In fact, previous studies have been able to observe that with advancing age we tend to lose up to 60% of the nerves that control muscles (Piasecki et al, The Journal of Physiology, 2018). Well, moderate physical exercise, practiced without exaggerating but consistently, prevents these consequences of aging, making people younger than ... young people themselves, if they are not very active.
Here is another study that makes us understand the importance of physical exercise for health, not only today's health but also the health we will have in the years to come. Because health is built day after day and depends on today's lifestyle and dietary choices.