Another reason not to skip your weekly workouts

Another reason not to skip your weekly workouts

3 October 2016

Another reason not to skip your weekly workouts

Good news ladies! We have a new(ish) weapon in the ongoing anti-ageing battle. We all know exercise is a vital ingredient in a healthy lifestyle, but new research suggests it could help keep wrinkles at bay too.

Research published in the journal, Science Advances, found that exercise could help fight signs of ageing on a cellular level. 

The principle was simple, as Anabelle Decottignies professor of pharmacy and biomedical sciences at the catholic University of Leuven explains, “Keeping your cells young is important to allow tissues to function properly… for instance, the reason why your immune system drops when you get older is because your immune cells get old. Same holds true for the brain: brain cells get old with time and this impairs brain function.”

So how does exercise help?

Well, the study found that a cardio workout stimulated the production of a compound called NRF1 in the muscles.  NRF1 helps to protect something called telomeres, at the end of our DNA. Think of telomeres as tiny biological clocks – when they’re healthy, our cells stay young – so boosting the production of the compound that protects them is good news for anti-ageing.

“You could think of this like varnish on nails.” Professor Decottignies continues, “Nails are the telomeres and … NRF1 are the varnish. You cannot change the nails (telomeres), but you can change the varnish that protects them.” So your trip to the gym is  the equivalent of an anti-ageing manicure. 

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Image credit: Kamil Macniak/ Shutterstock