When you make exercise a part of your daily life, you’ll not only feel better – but look younger, according to a newly released study.
I’m forever encouraging my clients to include some type of physical activity as part of their daily routine. That’s because we’ve long since known that exercise helps with mood challenges, like depression and anxiety.
Now, there’s a new line of research that suggests another benefit of exercise: slowing down the aging process.
Yep, that’s right. A recent study published in Aging Cell, conducted by the folks at The University of Birmingham and King’s College London have found that it’s possible to father time at bay.
The goal of the investigation was to assess the impact of regular exercise on adults who included physical activity as part of the lifestyle.
To conduct the study, they recruited amateur cyclists (125) who were between the ages of 55-79. There were 41 female participants and 84 males, respectively.
To qualify as a participant, the guys had to be able to cycle 62 miles (100 km) in less than 6.5 hours. The women needed to bike the same distance but in less than 5.5 hours. Folks who smoked, heavily consumed alcohol or had other serious health conditions were excluded.
As part of the study, scientists asked the participants to undergo a variety of lab tests. Researchers then compared the results to 130 folks were healthy but did not regularly exercise. Ages ranged from 20-80.
Here are the highlights of what they discovered among the older cyclists:
- Strength and muscle loss changes were not recorded.
- Cholesterol and body fat did not increase.
- Testosterone among men remained high, suggesting the guys make have been able to skip past male menopause.
- The immune system of those who regularly exercised did not appear to have aged.
When you break it all down, this means that we now have evidence to suggest ongoing physical activity can help to slow down the negative effects of aging.
Janet Lord, who is Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham said the following about the study’s findings in a press release.
“Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society. However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that aging automatically makes us more frail.”
The study appearing in the Aging Cell follows another line of research that was released in late 2017 that suggests regular aerobic exercise may offer memory-boosting benefits and slow down dementia.