The Link Between Exercise And Stress

Are you aware of the protective effects and benefits that exercise can play in your life? Depending on your age, one exercise session can improve your bodys ability to overcome stressors by potentially boosting the antioxidant system.

The results are found in a recent study published in Age, the Journal of the American Aging Association and were conducted by Tinna Traustadottir, an assistant professor of biological sciences. In her study, she set up two groups of healthy adults one group composed of 18 to 25 year olds the other those that were at least 50 years old. The two groups rode a stationary bike rigorously for 45 minutes and then were tested the following day. A blood pressure cuff was inflated and applied steady pressure for 10 minutes followed by a two-minute break. This procedure was repeated three times. Before and after blood samples measured the bodys oxidative stress response and changes in antioxidantrelated enzymes.

The Findings

Traustadottir discovered that young people got protection from this one bout of exercise, but their response to the oxidative stress challenge was lower. The older participants did not have a protective effect after one exercise session, which may be related to impaired cell signaling, a process that could potentially be improved with regular workouts, she said.

Her ongoing research goals include identifying where in the cells process specific age-related changes take place. She says that by better understanding cell signaling and the beneficial effects of exercise or phytonutrient supplementation, definitive recommendations could be made for improving the bodys reaction to oxidative stress, which could lower the risk for many chronic diseases.

Traustadottir says she also prefers focusing on compressing morbidity or what she calls successful aging. Instead of extending life, Im interested in minimizing the time when a person has some sort of disability or disease and is unable to do their activities, she added.

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