Endurance exercise thwarts premature aging

A study by McMaster University researchers has found that endurance exercise may stop you looking and feeling old, it may even help you live longer.

`We have clearly shown that there is no substitute for the `real thing` of exercise when it comes to protection from aging,` said Mark Tarnopolsky, principal investigator of the study and a professor of pediatrics and medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

The study found that premature aging in nearly every organ in the body was completely prevented in mice that ran on a treadmill three times a week for five months.

Mitochondria are unique in that they have their own DNA. It has been thought that lifelong accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations lead to energy crisis that result in a progressive decline in tissue and organ function, ultimately resulting in aging. But the study on genetically-disadvantaged mice found those who had endurance exercise training three times a week looked as young as healthy mice while their sedentary siblings were balding, graying, physically inactive, socially isolated and less fertile.

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