It’s no secret that getting older can take a toll on the body, with increased risks of heart disease, dementia and reduced immune function. But new research has uncovered evidence that aerobic exercise may combat those effects by actually reversing aging’s impact on essential muscle stem cells involved in tissue regeneration. You don’t have to settle for slowing down as years accumulate. It could be possible to bounce back from workouts or illnesses more easily than before.
Exercise has long been known to promote health and extend life, but this new research takes it one step further. It indicates that aerobic activities like jogging, swimming or cycling can help older individuals recover faster than they would naturally. In the future these results might form a basis for creating de-ageing drugs meant specifically for muscle stem cells. Exercise isn’t just about adding years to your lifespan anymore. It now could potentially reverse age related diseases as well.
This research uncovered a promising result. Aerobic exercise can demonstrate anti-aging benefits on cells, encouraging them to behave with renewed youth. To confirm this outcome, two groups of mice were observed. One group was given the ability to run up to 10km each night for three weeks while the other group had no opportunity for physical activity. Sure enough, after only seven days both older and younger mice had established an active nightly routine.
Regular aerobic exercise like swimming, running or cycling may be the human equivalent to mice voluntarily turning a wheel for three weeks. In this study, it was found that muscle stem cells from older exercising mice were just as effective at regenerating fibers in injured tissue compared with younger counterparts. Thus, indicating physical activity’s positive effect on aging muscles.
The research indicates that sustained aerobic exercise can have an overall rejuvenating effect and improve muscle stem cell function in older animals. This was observed even when there wasn’t an increase in the number of cells present. Rather, it facilitated tissue repair so effectively that it seemed as though those aging cells were turned back into young ones. However, the benefit is fleeting if activity levels taper off after one week post-exercise causing the effects to dissipate.
Many of the researchers were surprised when they found that running a wheel did not improve muscle repair in young mice. Young mice saw no improvement to muscle repair despite running on the wheel – as if they had already reached peak efficiency.
Through the study, scientists have unlocked the potential of aerobic exercise to restore and accelerate regeneration in muscle stem cells. Exercise has the potential to reverse age-related decline in stem cells, thanks to a tiny protein called cyclin D1. This exciting discovery means scientists can now target this critical component of tissue repair with drug therapies or prescribed exercise regimens. However, before any anti-aging advances can come into full effect further research is necessary within human studies.
The findings suggest voluntary physical activity on a consistent basis will help us live our best lives by combating age related illnesses while also allowing us to stay functionally younger longer.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Exercise rejuvenates quiescent skeletal muscle stem cells in old mice through restoration of Cyclin D1