Role of Physical Activity in Remaining Young

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Ageing is an irreversible process and cannot be halted. Of course, there are talks of stem cells and that in future, men and women could live for thousand years. It is all speculative and things like that might happen or, might not happen. For the time being, we have to reconcile ourselves to the reality that all of us are subject to ageing. Several studies have shown that while ageing might be irreversible, it could be at least slowed down. For example, it has been shown that a substance called resveratrol present in red grapes has the ability to slow down ageing. Calorie restriction has also been shown to be helpful in countering the ageing process. Now, studies in Canada have shown through animal studies that there is nothing like exercise to slow down ageing.

Mice were genetically engineered to age faster. The mitochondria are the most important part of any cell because they produce most of the energy needed by the cells to survive. The mice were genetically altered so that their mitochondria were damaged. Since the mitochondria were affected, energy conservation within the cells suffered. Lack of energy made these mice to age faster.

These genetically engineered mice were divided into two groups. One group was made to remain sedentary during the experimental period running into several months. The mice in the other group were made to run on a treadmill for forty five minutes at a time for three times a week. After several months, the two groups of mice were compared. As expected, the mice which had been made to remain sedentary had aged faster. Surprisingly, the mice which had undergone the exercise regimen continued to remain young based on every parameter studied. Their hairs remained intact and also did not gray. Interestingly, their mitochondria remained healthy and young. It is clear that exercise could keep you younger for a longer period.

Another important aspect of exercise is that it keeps diseases away. Disease accelerates ageing. Hence, it is important to keep diseases, especially chronic diseases at bay if one is to remain young. This is made possible when you exercise because exercise stimulates the immune system.


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