Researchers say exercise is best tool against aging
Studies show that exercise is the most promising tool that humans have for good health in late life, and its power extends to our cells.
Research suggests exercise counters the buildup of senescent cells, helping the immune system clear them and fight the molecular damage that can affect the senescence process.
Senescent cells, which build up in older bodies, have a link to age-related conditions such as dementia and cardiovascular disease.
Last year, Nathan LeBrasseur, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, led a study that provided the first evidence in humans that exercise substantially affected the aging process. It reduced signs in the bloodstream of the effects of senescent cells in the body.
After a 12-week exercise program, researchers found that older adults had decreased signs of senescence and improved muscle strength, physical ability and reported health.
A recently-published research review collects even more evidence — in animals and humans — for exercise as a senescence-targeting therapy.
While such studies are not well-known outside scientific circles, many older adults connect exercise with youthfulness.