Everyone should envy those people who keep regular physical activity! Not only this, but everyone should be inspired by those who exercise regularly because of many reasons. As we have written in other articles, benefits from physical activity include improvements in memory and thinking, lowering the risk for heart-related diseases, improvement in body fat as well as looking more youthful.
Recently, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Birmingham has come to the conclusion that generally, persistent physical activity slows down ageing. The discoveries are presented on two study papers published in Aging Cell online journal, “Properties of the vastus lateralis muscle in relation to age and physiological function in master cyclists aged 55-79 years” and “Major features of Immunosenescence, including Thymic atrophy, are ameliorated by high levels of physical activity in adulthood”.
The study was comprised of 125 amateur cyclists, 41 females and 84 males, by the age 55 to 79 years old. These cyclists had a satisfactory physical activity during their adult life years. Men participants would be able to cycle 100km for up to 6.5 hours meanwhile women participants would be able to cycle 60km for up to 5.5 hours. Researchers excluded smokers, high blood pressure people and those who used alcohol and they organized several examinations for the health of the participants. These tests’ data would then be compared to the data of another tested group which comprised of 55 healthy young adults by the age 20 to 36 years and other 75 healthy participants by the age 57 to 80 who didn’t do regular physical exercise.
From the examination, researchers discovered that those participants who did regular physical exercises didn’t show loss of strength or muscle mass. Not only this, but those participants didn’t escalate their body fat as they grow old as well as they recorded satisfactory testosterone levels. Exercising, cycling in this case, appeared to also influence thymus by increasing its production. Starting from age 20, thymus starts to become smaller leading thus to less immune cells, T cells. Participants who cycled showed equal T cells production amount with a youngster participant.
The reason why some elders who actively do physical exercises are and look healthier is that they have been constantly doing it for a long time and it has helped them to also slow the ageing process of their immune system which comes mainly as a result of T cells production. Researchers suggest that this study is an added brick on the wall of the defense against ageing problems and unhealthy living. People should be advised to do more physical exercise and they should reconsider the assumption that by ageing we are unquestionably more fragile. Not only this, but this study also supported the suggestion that exercising has no age!