Resistance Training Adds Shape to Your Body, Turns Back Your Biological Clock and Adds Years to Your LifeMark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, proved resistance training activates a muscle stem cell called a satellite cell. (see study here).
These new cells - in a function called gene shifting - cause the mitochondria to rejuvenate.
George Dvorsky at i09 writes:
"Tarnopolsky showed that in 6 months, with bi-weekly strength exercise training, the biochemical, physiological and genetic signature of older muscles are "turned back" by a factor of 15 to 20 years. That's significant — to say the least. (Michelle's emphasis added).
And indeed, other studies are successfully linking athleticism to longevity. A recent analysis published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International of more than 900,000 athletes (ranging in age from 20 to 79) showed that no significant age-related decline in performance appeared before the age of 55. And revealingly, even beyond that age the decline was surprisingly slow; in the 65 to 69 group, a quarter of the athletes performed above average among the 20 to 54 year-old group.
Essentially, exercise helps the body regenerate itself. This likely explains why older athletes are less susceptible to age-related illnesses than their sedentary counterparts. Moreover, ongoing exercise has been shown to preserve lean tissue, even during rapid and substantial weight loss. It also helps to maintain strength and mobility, which can significantly reduce risk of injury and stave off health problems that would otherwise linger.
Even more remarkable is how resistance training can stave off cognitive decline — what is arguably just as important as physical well being. In a study led by Teresa Liu-Ambrose of the University of British Columbia, women between the ages of 70 and 80 who were experiencing mild cognitive impairment were put through 60-minute classes two times per week for 26 weeks. They used a pressurized air system (for resistance) and free weights, and were told to perform various sets of exercises with variable loads. The results were remarkable: Lifting weights improved memory and staved off the effects of dementia. It also improved the seniors' attention span and ability to resolve conflicts."