You’ve heard that exercise is crucial for your health, but did you know it could add years to your life? the older athletes didn’t have to spend any more time training than their younger counterparts
WE ALL KNOW
what exercise offers. a stronger heart and a more toned frame. But that’s only the beginning of the
story, Scientists are increasingly certain that regular physical activity can literally turn back time. When you make activity part of your everyday life, your body starts to change at the molecular Jeveleven your DNA guts younger. When researchers compare the bodies of fit 70-year-olds to younger people, they find that these elderly men and women have the stamina, musculature and skin of people 30 yenn their junior.
The fountain of youth bappens to be contained within you all you have to do is move. Exercise four to five times a week and you’ll slow cellular ajring and offnet the risk of many chronic illnesses like cancer, autoimmune conditions and arthritis. From your brain to your bones, working out can make a positive impact and keep you feeling looking and acting younger. Best of all, it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to have a lasting effect. Read on for more reasons why you should incorporate fitness into your life-and become your healthiest self.
KEEP THE SIGNS OF GETTING OLDER AT BAY
No one wants to believe they’re vain, but everyone can find the mirror a cruel mistress as the years tick by. It’s why Americans are spending roughly $16 billion a year on plastic surgery. Want to save some money? Check this out: Researchers at MeMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, took mice that were genetically engineered to appe quickly and encouraged some of them to use a running wheel while the rest loungod about. After five months, the running wheel group looked as young as they did the day the study began, while the nonexereisers had gone gray, lost fur and had lower fertility. The lead author of the study. Mark Tarnopolsky, Ph.D., says that even the mice’s organs avoided the wear and tear of aging: regular exercise prevented the mice’s brains and muscles from shrinking
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAXIMIZE VITALITY
People spend thousands of dollars on special creams and hormone injections when a 20-minute jog could socomplish the same thing for free. Consider a study from German Bport University in Cologne in which Teocarcera tapped into a database of more than 600,000 people between the age of 20 and 70 to track the effect of regular running on aging.
They found that people in their early 50x could match or even exceed the half-marathon and inarathon times of runners in their 20s and 80s. And the older athletes didn’t have to spend any more time training than their younger counterparts
The researchers did find that after age 64, running performance began to decline slightly. Nonetheless, the active elderly outlived their sedentary peers by an average of about four years.
Even more encouraging The study suggests that starting later in life can still provide plenty of antiaging benefits. A quarter of the older runners had been training for five years or less.
EXTEND THE LIFE SPAN LS OF YOUR CELLS
Even at the cellular level, exercise can slow the aging process. In a study published in the journal Science Advances, researchers took muscle biopsies and blood samples from healthy people before and after they rode a stationary bike for 45 minutes. The sample taken after exercise revealed that working out had raised the levels of a molecule that protects telomeres-a structure that’s key to a cell’s life-span. A telomere is a cap on the end of a cell’s chromosomes that wears down every time the cell divides. When the telomere goes, the cell dies. Exercise increases the telomere-protective molecule, so it literally extends the life span of your cells and you.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently reported on a study in which they asked elderly people to do vigorous exercise the kind you might get in, say, a Spin class.
The researchers took muscle samples to check the exercisers’ mitochondria-a cellular structure crucial to powering your muscles. Mitochondria generate energy molecules that fuel your muscle cells. and the more you have, the longer your muscles can respond to the demands you make upon them in other words, your muscle stamina increases. After three months, the volunteers’ mitochondria were generating 70 percent more energy.
Not only is that a stunning increase, but the researchers point out that mitochondrial function typically only declines with age. The gains put the volunteers who ranged between 65 and 80 years of age-on par with people in their 20s.
LET STRENGTH 14. SAVE YOUR LIFE
For decades, scientists believed that the decline in muscle mass as we age was inevitable. And they could only wring their hands over the risks of becoming frail: The elderly can lose their independence and their ability to get around, and their risk of serious falls increases. That’s particularly troublesome, since for seniors, a broken hip is often the first domino to fall in a series of adverse health events that can often prove fatal.
Then someone had the bright idea of putting older folks on strength-training regimens, and the results have been nothing short of amazing: A review of strength training research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that with regular lifting, men and women in their 60s and 70s could recapture the muscle mass of people in their 40s.
So if you’re looking for youthfulness, vitality, strength, energy and a positive outlook and want to maintain them all your life, then it’s time to drink from the well of activity. You’ve got it right now, right in front of you.