OK guys, talking of ‘having your finger on the pulse’ for current research and literature. Only 2 weeks ago the tireless work carried out by researchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London was presented in the journal Aging Cell thanks to its findings on exercise and reducing the ageing process.
Sound to good to be true? Well get this, the study wanted to assess older adults to see if consistent exercise throughout their lives had slowed down the ageing process in any way. To do this they recruited 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79, with 125 subjects (people) at a 2:1 male to female ratio. Part of the selection criteria was that the men had to be able to cycle 100 km in under 6.5 hours, while the women had to be able to cycle 60 km in 5.5 hours.
To further validate the findings the researchers excluded people who smoked, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure or other health conditions.
What they found…
The researchers performed a series of tests and compared the subjects and a group of people who did not partake in physical activity, specifically 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 healthy young adults aged 20 to 36.
They found that muscle mass remained the same and so too did strength over time for those who exercise regularly over the years. Their cholesterol and body fat didn’t increase with age, and the men’s testosterone levels also remained high (something of real interest to our MANtra members).
Interestingly the researchers asserted that those men with generally normal testosterone had managed to avoid most of the ‘male menopause’.
Get this, the immune system of the subjects who exercised did not seem to have aged either, a very useful benefit for long term health and quality of life (QOL).
So, no matter what you think of exercise, there can be little argument that (despite some studies methodological flaws) consistent physical activity in any capacity, over time, is GREAT for health and wellbeing.