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How Exercise Fights the Effects of Aging
New research in healthy volunteers indicates that high-intensity interval training stimulates muscle cells to boost production of mitochondrial proteins and delay the aging process at the molecular level. The Cell Metabolism findings are encouraging because with age, the energy-generating capacity of cells’ mitochondria slowly decreases.
To examine the molecular players involved in the benefits of exercise, investigators from the Mayo Clinic randomly assigned 36 men and 36 women from 2 age groups (18–30 years old and 65–80 years old) into 3 different exercise programs: high-intensity interval biking, strength training with weights, and a combination of strength training and interval training. By performing thigh muscle biopsies and various laboratory tests, the team found that all programs enhanced insulin sensitivity and lean mass, but only high-intensity interval training and combined training improved aerobic capacity and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration.
The younger and older volunteers in the interval training group experienced a 49% and 69% increase in mitochondrial respiration, respectively. The interval training was less …