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Live Well

Exercise offsets biological factors that drive age-related conditions, new study finds

Many people tend to lead sedentary lifestyles when they age. Sometimes it can feel like your body is breaking down, and exercising can be a challenge. One possible reason for this could be senescent cells, which build up in the body as a person gets older and contribute to age-related disorders.

A recent study by the Mayo Clinic shows that exercise and other physical activities can reduce the number of senescent cells.

Dr. Nathan LeBrasseur, director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at Mayo Clinic, said people must prioritize physical activity, especially as they age.

There is no magic pill to reverse the aging process. But if you want to counter the biological mechanisms that drive age-related conditions, such as the accumulation of senescent cells, you will need to exercise.

“Just being more active throughout your day appears to be sufficient to reduce kind of the burden of senescence cells in an individual,” he said. “Dedicating time, purposeful time, to getting some form of aerobic exercise or endurance exercise, like walking or cycling or swimming, and also getting some form of strength training is critically important.”

Adding 30 minutes of activity daily can be beneficial to controlling weight, boosting energy, enhancing cognitive function and promoting better sleep.

It may also benefit muscle strength and bone health, LeBrasseur added.

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