Most of us wish to stay young or have a magic elixir that can revert aging process. Age is just a number if it’s maintained and nurtured regularly by giving what it deserves. As people reach their middle age the muscle and immune response starts deteriorating and as they age further the activity decrease even more and more.
Understanding the process of aging
Dr. López-Otín proposed nine cellular and molecular hallmarks of aging
(1) Genomic instability
which is an accumulation of genetic damage throughout the life span which plays important role in the process of aging. It can be due to the changes in DNA by mutations or genetic damage and can be due to external factors like therapies.
(2) Telomere attrition
telomeres are protein complex that protects the integrity of information carrying DNA. Due to a constant division of cells the length of these proteins decrease and this cause aging process.
(3) Epigenetic alterations
as we know that DNA is a chemical structure comprising of proteins that are bonded chemically. These alternations include a change in DNA methylation patterns, modification of histones and chromatin remodelling. Studies have proven that with exercise these changes can be reversed.
(4) Loss of proteostasis
aging and age-related diseases cause impairment of protein homeostasis, also called as proteostasis. This loss of function leads to accumulated damage of proteins which causes age-related changes.
(5) Deregulated nutrient sensing
the growth hormone and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) are the nutrient sensing systems. They are involved with the muscle protein synthesis which decreases with aging.
(6) Mitochondrial dysfunction
mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Their functions contribute to alternations in the oxidative capacity of the muscle fibres. As the age increase, this activity starts decreasing and with proper exercise, it can be maintained.
(7) Cellular senescence
it is a process by which cells lose its power of division and growth. As they age the tissues exhaust and are damaged due to aging.
(8) Stem cell exhaustion
As the cells age, they get exhausted. The stem cells are the cells that maintain the immunity.
(9) Altered intercellular communication
the process of aging causes several alterations on the intracellular mechanism like the endocrine, neuroendocrine and neurons.
Maintenance by exercise
As the aging process starts the main aim should be at incorporating different types of exercise which can help all the different muscles and maintain its integrity. Regular exercise will aid in muscle repair and guard against all the aging sequence discussed above.
Lifting weights along with exercise are equally important and contribute to making muscles thicker. The focus will weight training should be not on the amount of weight lifted and a number of repetitions done. As the repetitions increase more ATP is produced in the mitochondria and more energy is given out.
Along with exercising it’s also important to incorporate healthy lifestyle and habits and following them religiously. As rightfully said by Kenneth Cooper “We do not stop exercising because we grow old - we grow old because we stop exercising.”