Running is better at reversing signs of ageing in comparison to other types of exercising

While the health benefits of running are widely known, such as helping you to build strong bones and strengthen your muscles, regularly going on leisurely runs could also slow down signs of ageing. A study published in the European Heart Journal by researchers from Leipzig University in Germany assessed the impact that different forms of exercise have on the human body, comparing the effects of endurance, high-intensity training and resistance training. Over the course of six months, the team studied 266 healthy volunteers as they took part in three workouts a week, each randomly assigned one of the three forms of exercise or put in a control group. All of the participants were described as being “previously inactive”, thus creating an even playing field for the study. Endurance training involved going on long runs, high-intensity training consisting of doing a warm up followed by running intervals, and the resistance training involved doing a variety of exercises such as crunches, chest presses and leg curls. The researchers analysed the white blood cells of the participants at the beginning of the study, a few days into the study and then at the end of the six-month period. The team noted a greater increase in telomerase activity and telomere length in the white blood cells of the participants who did endurance and high-intensity training in comparison to those who did resistance training or no exercise at all. Telomeres are stretches of DNA that can be found on the end of chromosomes that affect the way in which humans age. “Our main finding is that, compared to the start of the study and the control group, in volunteers who did endurance and high intensity training, telomerase activity and telomere length increased, which are both important for cellular ageing, regenerative capacity and thus, healthy ageing,” says Professor Ulrich Lauds, one of the authors of the study.

posted Thursday November 29th