A recent study shows that muscle repair does not have to decline as you age.
A new report shows that regular exercise helps your muscles repair themselves better as we get older. It used to be thought that muscle repair from injury consistently declined as you age. This latest study put out by the FASEB Journal shows that not to be true.
The scientists took three groups of mice: One group of young mice that were not exercise trained, one group of old mice that were not exercise trained and one group of old mice that were exercise trained. In the exercised trained old mice, the scientists had the mice train 3 days per week for eight weeks. They later tested all three groups after giving them a small does of snake venom which simulates an injury. All the mice were tested 10 days after and 28 days after.
The old group of trained mice showed a much greater response to repairing muscle than did both other groups. “Exercise pre-conditioning may improve the muscle repair response in older adults to stimuli such as acute periods of atrophy/inactivity and/or damage,” said Gianni Parise, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work and Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “Exercise-conditioning rescues delayed skeletal muscle regeneration observed in advanced age.”
As a yoga teacher, endurance athlete, and coach, this is music to my ears. I know that most of Americans don’t exercise on a regular basis, if at all, and that number is even less in older generations. I am on a mission to increase not only the number of people who exercise, but the number of people who are impressed with themselves because they continue to accomplish feats they never thought possible.
There is a whole world of opportunity and adventure out there and we just have to take steps to experience it all. Gyms are everywhere and anyone can join one, but people don’t. All you have to do is go outside, walk, hike, run, ride your bike. When you start to feel how good you feel after some exercise and I promise you won’t want to go back to being sedentary.
Exercise decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemicals. Along with a host of other great hormones, exercise makes you stronger and helps build confidence. How would you feel if you went mountain biking with your kids and actually kept up with them? Or if you led your family on an overnight backpacking adventure to a National Park?
I recommend that you begin to build your life around exercise and adventure. Regular movement whether it be yoga, hiking, treadmill, weight lifting, running, or a host of other things to get your blood moving and those hormones producing positive effects on your body and mind. If you need a jump start, I’m always here to help: @teddymcdonald
Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@erondu
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