Exercise Keeps Wrinkles Away

There’s a new research-backed anti-aging homecare regimen you should be recommending to clients. Scientists have discovered yet another benefit of exercise. In addition to boosting the immune system, keeping the mind sharp, helping with sleep, and maintaining muscle tone; a new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that high-intensity interval training works at the cellular level to stop aging. That’s right, sweating it out at SoulCycle can even reduce wrinkles. The aerobic interval training caused cells to make more proteins for mitochondria and ribosomes, which in turn produce more energy and build more protein keeping cells healthier and functioning at a more youthful level. "Based on everything we know, there's no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process," says Sreekumaran Nair, a medical doctor and diabetes researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and study senior author. "These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine."

The study compared how male and female participants in young (18 to 30 years) and old (65 to 80 years) age groups responded to different exercise routines. The researchers took biopsies from the volunteers' thigh muscles and compared the molecular makeup of their muscle cells to samples from sedentary volunteers. They found that while strength training was effective at building muscle mass, high-intensity interval training yielded the biggest benefits at the cellular level. The younger volunteers in the interval training group saw a 49 percent increase in mitochondrial capacity, and the older volunteers saw an even more dramatic 69 percent increase. The energy-generating capacity of our cells' mitochondria slowly decreases with age. By comparing proteomic and RNA-sequencing data from people on the different exercise programs, the researchers found evidence that exercise encourages the cell to make more RNA copies of genes coding for mitochondrial proteins and proteins responsible for muscle growth. The most impressive finding was this increase in muscle protein content. In some cases, the high-intensity biking regimen actually seemed to reverse the age-related decline in mitochondrial function and proteins needed for muscle building.