As we get older, we lose muscle mass and the risk of heart disease, dementia, and reduced immune function goes up. And as years go by, it gets harder to bounce back from workouts, injuries, and illness. Working out consistently can help slow this down, but anew studypublished this week shows aerobic exercise may actually reverse the effects of aging on essential muscle stem cells involved with tissue regeneration.
Now this new research was done on mice, but if it translates to humans, it means jogging, swimming, cycling and other aerobic activities could help older people recover as efficiently as their younger selves. The study suggests that aerobic exercise can cause old cells to act more like - and take on the characteristics of - younger cells.
Scientists have known that exercise helps promote a longer, healthier life, but this discovery is “very different,” according to study co-authorThomas Rando, a neurology researcher at Stanford University. He explains, “This is like taking, in a sense, a person who has already aged and acquired these diseases, and then reversed that process.”