Sunday, May 06, 2012
Reverse the Aging Process with This Simple Secret
You already know that exercise can strengthen your muscles, bones and ligaments. You know that it can make your heart and lungs grow stronger. And it can also increase your energy and improve your sex life.
But what if just a few days of exercise each week could increase the size of your brain... repair and restore your organs at a cellular level... and even reverse the aging process?
Well, recent research shows that it could. In fact, Canadian scientists believe they've discovered the fountain of youth...
The study comes from Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor at McMaster University School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario. He holds a PhD in cell biology and metabolism. In 2008 alone, he had over 30 peer-reviewed papers published. Much of his research focuses on the adaptations your muscles make to stress, exercise, and mitochondrial dysfunction. And his primary focus is on the effects of aging.
His research, published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that exercise prevents premature aging.
The findings have been welcomed by the medical community. In fact, his team was given a standing ovation when they presented their findings at a medical conference.
Sedentary Lifestyle Leads to Rapid Aging
The study was three years in the making. Dr. Tarnopolsky and his team studied a group of mice - ones with similar biology to humans. Just like aging people, these mice lose their hair as they age. They experience hearing loss, cataracts and enlarged hearts. Their brains and muscles also shrink with age.
The researchers began each experiment when the mice were three months old. That's about 20 in human years. Each experiment ended when the mice were eight months old - late 60s in human years.
The researchers split the mice into equal groups. One group lived a sedentary life. The other group was forced to run on treadmills for 45 minutes, three times a week.
The final results were startling. The sedentary mice showed all the normal signs of aging. Their fur went grey. They started to go bald. Muscles atrophied and bones calcified. Eventually, they all died.
"We could see mice with grey fur and osteoporosis hunched up in the cage," says Dr. Tarnopolsky.
How to Slow - and Even Reverse - the Effects of Aging
On the other hand, the mice that exercised three times a week remained young. Their fur was shiny. Their muscles remained firm and strong. They continued to be healthy and active. They also remained sexually productive and energetic.
"The littermate controls were running around bright-eyed and bushy-tailed," says Dr. Tarnopolsky. "They had beautiful fur and showing every part of the body being protected. I think that says wow! This is good for me. Not just my muscles, but everything."
The American College of Sports Medicine agrees. According to an independent study, "There is much evidence that a moderate amount of exercise is needed for the maintenance of functional integrity of the cardiovascular system, muscles, bones, and ligaments."
But there's something even more startling in Dr. Tarnopolsky's results...
The exercise didn't just slow aging. It actually reversed it.
"The brain was atrophic in the non-runners," says Dr. Tarnopolsky. "But it was back to normal size in the runners."
The Simple Key to Staying Healthy Longer
Dr. Tarnopolsky's team focused on the mitochondria. This is the energy-producing "power plant" found in the cytoplasm of every cell.
The purpose of the mitochondria is to convert the energy you get from food into a form that your cells can use. Among other things, that energy is used by the body to repair tissue and organs when they break down. That makes the mitochondria critical to the aging process.
But as we age, the mitochondrial DNA mutates.
This leads to a steady decline in tissue and organ function. As that happens, we start to see the physical signs of aging - grey hair, balding and a reduction in energy and muscle mass. We also become less fertile.
But Dr. Tarnopolsky and his team found that exercise somehow restores the mitochondrial DNA. In some cases, it actually strengthened it. That's why the aging process appeared to be reversed in the active mice.
"What this really shows," says Dr. Tarnopolsky, "is that exercise doesn't just affect your heart and muscle. It has a potent systemic effect. What's coming out of your muscle is having an effect on all organs in your body."
15 Minutes a Day to Feeling Vibrant and Youthful
This study, along with many others, demonstrates that many of the changes that we attribute to "aging" are really caused by inactivity and a lack of vigorous exercise.
And keep in mind, you don't have to be a marathon runner to enjoy the benefits. In fact, the research shows that the greatest anti-aging benefits come from short duration, high intensity exercise. And of course, any exercise is better than no exercise.
"This study clearly shows that we can get closer to the fountain of youth if we start when we're young and do moderate exercise our whole life," says Dr. Tarnopolsky. But he also points out that it's never too late to start. "We know that exercise has benefits even when humans start over the age of 65."
That's good news for everyone. If you start late, you can gradually reverse damage at the cellular level. And if you start young, you can enjoy a lifetime of benefits.
You can begin reversing the damage right now. If you haven't exercised in a long time, begin by walking for 10 or 15 minutes a day at a gentle pace and then build from there.
Remember, age is only a number. Your true age is how old you feel.
Exercise is just one of the all-natural, drug-free tactics you can use to slow the aging process.
From NHD Health Watch email
Use it or lose it!