A significant piece of health news proves once again that it’s never too late to start exercising. As the adult body ages, so do all its tissues, organs, and muscles. Muscles that grow weaker put the body at risk of destabilizing conditions such as arthritis. But researchers say there is a way to strengthen your muscles, no matter what your age. And even more than that; you can make your muscles younger again — as if you’ve unlocked a secret to aging.
The key lies in exercise, within what’s called “strength training.” In what’s also known as “resistance exercise,” you use weights and other equipment to put your muscles under a more-than-usual amount of strain. A workout lasts about a half-hour, involving free weights, weight machines, and calisthenics (push-ups, sit-ups, and other exercises using your own weight as resistance).
The study wanted to see what effect this would have on the genes in an older adult’s muscles. Could the muscles become younger again? Researchers examined muscle tissue from young and old adults, and discovered that the gene profile in them was very different. Older tissue had cells that were impaired — but, luckily, this was not permanent. It could be reversed.
They put 14 adults through six months of strength training and discovered that the muscles defied aging and became younger. The gene profile showed that the muscles had rejuvenated themselves, even though they had been “dramatically” impaired before working out.
In fact, the older adults increased their strength enough to be close to the levels of adults far younger. While it doesn’t seem shocking that strength training would strengthen muscles so well, the results were very distinct. And the fact that the cells within muscle tissue actually became “younger” was a very poignant finding.
More studies are needed. Could aerobic exercise achieve the same results? And could strength training reverse aging in other types of tissue, beyond muscles? While the answers to these questions still lie ahead, know that you can recapture youthful strength by heading to the gym. And the best health advice remains: work some exercise into your routine.
For more news on exercise, read the article Ideal Exercise Details Finally Revealed.