In a previous post, we discussed how exercise is your fountain of youth. It’s the best defense against the 3 primary ways the body ages:
- Cellular aging
- Oxidative stress
- Outside stressors
We also discussed that exercise is the ONLY way the body produces new Satellite cells which help repair and prevent the loss of lean body mass (your muscle tissue).
The aging process can be defined in 4 categories:
- Chronological aging – starts when we’re born and is independent of other variables. sorry, nothing we can do about this.
- Biological aging – is the degradation of the physiology (cells, tissues, organs). Poor nutrition, lifestyle choices, and inactivity all contribute.
- Functional aging – this is a combination of the physiological. mental, emotional, work capacity, and chronological age.
- Relative aging – is the comparison to others of the same chronological age
So what does successful aging look like to you?
I think I can speak for most of us when I say that successful aging is having a lower risk of disease and disability. Successful aging is when you actively engage in life with maintaining the physical and psychological functions to do what you want when you want to do it.
As I mentioned in the previous post, one of the most important studies that looked at how humans can reverse the aging process through exercise took place at Ball State University and was published in 2018.
Here’s a link to the Ball State Website which will direct you to the complete study.
In a nutshell here’s a summary:
There were 3 groups of people in their 70’s, one of which was regular life-long exercises, the other group were recreational gym participants and the other was a control group (no exercise).
Researchers performed muscle biopsies on all participants and found the following:
Participants who were on a regular exercise routine between 30-60min 5 days / week had a much greater capillary density in their muscle tissue. That means that more oxygen can enter the tissue, and help produce higher enzyme levels which assist the body in metabolizing glycogen (carbs) levels in the body to be used for energy. This results in less stored fat from carbs and less risk for a diabetic incident. This also meant that their overall work capacity was higher.
The muscle tissue density and biopsy for the 70-year-old exercisers were that of a 20-40-year-old. Yes, researchers stated that their muscle tissue was frozen in time.
So yes, the biological aging process had come to a halt with those who were on a regular exercise routine.
For those who were sedentary. 30 minutes of walking also showed positive benefits!
There you have it. Yes, you can reverse or stop the biological aging process, and it’s never too late to start!