Regular exercise could be the elixir of youth and life, according to Canadian researchers who have reported their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Using mice as its subjects the study compared a lifestyle that included regular exercise with a sedentary life. The mice were genetically programmed so that the repair system of the mitochondria, that are responsible for generating energy in all the cells in the body, gets changed.
Then, some of the mice were made to exercise, jogging on a treadmill three times a week, for 45 minutes, while the others were left alone. After five months, it was discovered that the mice that exercised were still young, while their organs -the gonads, the spleen, the liver, the muscle structure and even their brains seemed to have become better with the regular regimen of exercise. Mitochondrial DNA mutations leading to progressive decline in tissue and organ function that results in aging did not take place as the mitochondria had become young and healthy again.
On the other hand, the sedentary mice had begun to age and were balding. They were less active, disinclined to socialization with diminishing reproductive abilities. Even being given 'exercise pills' and reducing their calorie intake had very limited impact.
Mark Tarnopolsky, professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster's DeGroote School of Medicine says that study should get humans to start moving, and see the benefits of exercising in their reinvigorated lives.