Paola Machado - exercise can slow down the body's biological aging;  See what is known

Paola Machado – exercise can slow down the body’s biological aging; See what is known

I always reinforce the importance of physical exercise, it helps improve mood, self-confidence, prevent cognitive decline, relieve signs of anxiety, improve memory and cognition, as well as control body composition and improve diseases.

If all these benefits weren’t enough, researchers have begun to conduct more studies linking this practice and how it behaves over longevity, making us biologically more “younger.”

As we know, there is indeed a relationship between chronological age and what they call the “age of fitness” – developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. They studied people who were physically active and their relationship to well-being for years and years.

This lifespan is determined primarily by VO2max (maximum oxygen consumption), a measure of your body’s ability to absorb and use oxygen, as one of the targets for indicating current cardiovascular resistance.

This scale can also be used to compare your fitness with other people of the same age. If your VO2max is below average for your age group, your age of fitness is “greater” than your chronological age. This means that a 50-year-old man, for example, may have a fitness age of between 30 and 75, depending on his VO2max.

For this reason, Norwegian scientists have tried for several years to develop a simple method for estimating VO2max. They recruited nearly 5,000 volunteers between the ages of 20 and 90, measured their aerobic capacity with an exercise stress test, and checked a variety of health parameters, including waist circumference, heart rate and exercise routine. With this data, connected to an algorithm, they get an approximation of the VO2max result, which makes the process cheaper and improves.

In the study published in Medicine and science in sports and exerciseSince the 1980s, scientists have turned to a wealth of data on more than 55,000 Norwegian adults who have completed large-scale health questionnaires.

The scientists used volunteer responses to estimate each person’s VO2max and age of fitness. The study found that people whose age of fitness was significantly greater than the chronological age – with about 85% VO2max for average age – had an 82% higher risk of premature death than those whose age was the same or younger than actual age. .

According to the study authors, the findings suggest that age of fitness can predict a person’s risk of sudden death, diseases caused by being overweight, with consequent high cholesterol or blood pressure levels, and smoking.

Now researchers have discovered that one way to measure aging is through DNA. How does this happen?

Simply put, at the ends of chromosomes are so-called telomeres – which are like “protective caps” of genetic material, preventing wear and tear and maintaining chromosome structural stability. As we age, it tends to shorten (so it is one of the most important factors of aging).

To give you an idea, young adults are about 8,000 to 10,000 nucleotides long — the building blocks of chromosomes — compared to older people, who are about 5,000 nucleotides long.

But what do I do to keep my DNA “younger”?

One study showed how exercise can delay biological aging by up to 10 years. The researchers compared telomere length to exercise habits in more than 1,200 pairs of identical twins – most of them female – looking at the effect of exercise on telomere length on the twins’ white blood cells.

The study found that longer telomeres were positively associated with more recreational exercise. This finding held up after the researchers looked at age, gender, body mass index, smoking and physical activity at work.

The telomeres of the most active individuals were 200 nucleotides longer than those of the least active individuals. In identical twins who did not exercise the same amount – one exercised more than the other – the telomeres of the more active twins were found to be about 88 nucleotides longer than their less active brothers or sisters. identical.

In the twin research, people who exercised vigorously at least three hours a week had longer telomeres and were 10 years “younger” (as measured by their telomeres) than people who did not exercise regularly. This was achieved after taking into account other factors such as smoking, age, weight and activity level at work.

However, there is evidence from other research that very vigorous activity may not be beneficial, at least in men. Another study that followed (male only) businessmen for nearly three decades found that the group who exercised moderately had longer telomeres than those who exercised vigorously — including some competing athletes — and those who did no exercise at all.

Thus, more research is needed to determine the amount and type of exercise that promotes telomere changes, as well as whether men and women have different recommendations.

While research into telomere length is a relatively new field, researchers believe that shortening telomeres may increase the risk of age-related diseases such as high blood pressure, mental difficulties, cancer, and more.

This is because as telomeres shorten, your DNA has less “protection” and so any damage you receive is likely to affect cellular functioning. This supports the hypothesis that exercise helps reduce free radical damage, allowing your body to invest its resources in maintaining health rather than repairing damage.

Determining how exercise can keep your DNA ‘young’ is a big new step in understanding how lifestyle can play a role in aging. Either way, exercise helps you live healthier.

You should exercise not only for your DNA, but also to feel satisfied and experience all the benefits of exercise.


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