Why do we get old?
And how do we maintain a sense of vitality?
That’s the question that has been on the minds of many of us, especially those of us who live in cities, where the days are long and the heat and humidity are unbearable.
“Aging” has become a buzzword, with many people arguing that a lack of exercise and exercise-induced diseases are causing us to get old.
But is it true that being physically active causes you to lose your vigour and longevity?
And is it possible to reverse this process?
What we know about ageing What is ageing?
Aging is a natural process in which cells age.
When cells divide, they become more sensitive to light, energy and the environment, leading to the development of tissue damage.
“The damage is caused by the damage of the cells,” explains Professor James MacKinnon from the University of Exeter in the UK.
“These damaged cells have to do with how they get the light, the amount of energy they get, how much damage they can do to themselves, how many times they die, and so on.”
The damage to cells causes the body to lose its ability to regenerate damaged tissue.
This process is called apoptosis.
The more damaged cells are, the more damage they cause.
The process of ageing can be slowed by reducing the levels of stress hormones that are released when cells divide and are released into the circulation, for example.
“We know that ageing is caused mainly by stress hormones, but we also know that stress hormones are also responsible for some of the health benefits that we see with ageing,” says Professor MacKaddon.
What is the evidence that increasing physical activity helps? “
What we know is that there are several hormones that regulate the levels and functions of stress-related hormones in cells, and they are called growth factors, and a lot of those are related to the function of the cell.”
What is the evidence that increasing physical activity helps?
The evidence for the link between physical activity and a decline in ageing is not overwhelming, says Professor Jens Bergsman from the Institute for Human Health and Exercise Science in Leipzig, Germany.
“There are several studies that show an inverse relationship between physical exercise and a decrease in ageing,” he says.
“In some studies, the number of days in which people exercised has been shown to be related to their age.”
In others, people who exercised regularly had a shorter life span.
“But there are many studies showing that physical activity does not have an effect on the rate of ageing,” explains Dr Bergsmann.
“This is not a positive conclusion, and there are still other studies that do not support the link.”
But in other studies, older people have seen an increase in the number and quality of their bones, with a drop in the level of the stress hormone cortisol.
“Stress hormones are important for ageing because they stimulate the release of proteins, such as growth factors,” explains the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
“And these are the proteins that we would expect to help with the process of cellular ageing, which is why they are important to the ageing of cells.”
In addition, studies have found that exercise increases the level and activity of certain hormones, including growth factors.
“Our research has shown that a high-intensity interval exercise programme improves bone mineral density, reduces the levels or activity of growth factors and other hormones, and helps with bone health and the development and maintenance of bone,” says Dr Bergmans team.
What are the benefits of physical activity?
Exercise has many health benefits, including improved mood, better immune function, improved blood pressure and heart health, improved energy and body composition, and improved quality of life.
And many of these benefits are mediated through changes in the immune system.
Exercise also improves your blood pressure, blood sugar, blood flow, cholesterol, blood lipids, your immune system and even your immune function.
So exercise is good for you and good for your body.
It’s also good for the environment because, as Professor Mackinnon explains, the cells that make up your cells are very different to those in your body, which makes it harder for them to repair themselves.
Physical activity also helps you stay fit, and exercise can reduce the chances of a heart attack.
But, to be healthy, you need to exercise regularly.
There is evidence that physical exercise can increase your lifespan by as much as 25%.
“If you do the exercise regularly, you can probably increase your life span by at least 25 years,” says Prof MacKann.
But this can be achieved only by increasing your activity, says Dr MacKellys team.
And even if you increase your activity you will not be getting the benefits that come from the extra exercise.
“If we only do the physical activity we get from exercise, it doesn’t matter how many years you do it, we don’t get any benefits from