One study concludes that combining high intensity aerobic exercise (such as cycling) and strength (lifting weights) is the best physical alternative to prevent cellular aging of muscles.
There are many benefits of sport on our health , and if it seemed that it could no longer offer us more, we were wrong. According to a study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (USA), combining aerobic exercise at high intensity intervals – that is, all those that require a cardiovascular effort such as cycling or walking, for example with weight lifting, can help rejuvenate cells, especially muscle cells.
With aging, the mitochondria are losing their ability to provide energy to the cells, an influential factor in the loss of muscle tone Enhancing mitochondrial activity to improve muscle tone
This combination of exercises (aerobic and strength) enhances the mitochondria, that is, the organelles responsible for providing energy to the cells. This is important, especially when we know that as we age, the ability of mitochondria to contribute energy to our cells is gradually decreasing and this becomes one of the causes why we lose muscle tone. By enhancing mitochondrial activity, it is thus possible to prevent cell aging. “As far as we know now, there is nothing that can replace these exercise programs when it comes to delaying aging. No medication can do that, “says Sreekumaran Nair, the study’s lead investigator. Also, the benefits of this type of exercise were not only reflected in a cellular rejuvenation, but in the study it was observed that with this combination of exercises also increased the sensitivity of the liver and muscle cells towards insulin, something essential to increase our energy levels and feel more vital. To perform the research, which has been published in Cell Metabolism , the specialists had the participation of 36 men and 36 women, who separated into two groups. One that included people between 18 and 30 years of age and the other that was composed of participants 65-80 years. All of them practiced three different exercise programs: one consisting of only cycling, one in which weights were used and a third that combined both exercises. In this way, after completing each exercise program, the researchers performed biopsies of the muscles of the participants. The results showed that, although weight training helped to build muscle mass, the last exercise program (combination of bicycles and weights) was the one with the greatest cellular benefits . Specifically, the volunteers in the first group (young people) saw their mitochondrial capacity increase by 49%, a considerable increase but was even more surpassed by the older group, with a 69% increase. “I would recommend a high intensity workout for three or four days and then two days of strength exercise,” says Sreekumaran Nair.