Want to Reverse Aging? Weight Train

Some of us love to exercise and look forward to it while others dread it and find numerous excuses not to do it. Whether you enjoy exercise or not, it is a known fact that exercise is good for you. Strength training, specifically, has health benefits including:
1. building muscle mass which will speed metabolism
2. making you appear more toned
3. increasing muscle strength which is important for everyday activities
4. reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, back pain and depression.

Here is another reason to exercise, it may make your muscles younger! Researchers have found that muscle tissue from younger and older people differ significantly. Muscle tone in older adults have impaired functioning in the mitochondria  which affects the genes of the muscles. The genes play a role in the way the body manufactures proteins. In simple words, as we age, our muscles age as well.

Researchers recently designed a study to see if weight training would affect the gene expression of older muscles.  The study was published in an online journal called PLoS One. It included 25 healthy men and women older than age 65 and 26 healthy adults ages 20 -35. Both groups had similar exercise and diet habits. The researchers analyzed all the participants muscle tissue and found the tissue of the older adults to be “dramatically impaired”.

The researchers then had 14 of the older adults go through a 6 month strength training program, working out 2 days a week. At the end of the 6 months, the older adults had increased their muscle strength coming closer to the performance of the younger participants. The muscle tissue was then re-analyzed and the gene expression was found to have a more youthful appearance.  “In a very real sense, the muscle was younger,”  said lead study author Dr. Simon Melov of the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, California. This new study suggests that strength training can actually rejuvenate muscle in older adults.

Resarchers have yet to determine whether cardiovascular exercise has this effect on gene expression.

This study goes to show that it is never too late to start an exercise program. The possibility of prolonging your youth may be a motivator for some of you couch potatoes to hit the gym!

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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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