Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Aging and physical fitness

Association between Healthy aging and physical exercise, by Dr.Ajit Saigal

Published: Sep 28, 2022 06:06:53 PM IST

Aging and physical fitnessAging is inescapable, but it can be made easy and healthy with the help of exercise. Exercise renders many health benefits and reduces the manifestations of aging, especially the “aging phenotype” of the elderly. A recent systematic review concluded that regular exercise renders a positive impact on muscle mass and muscle functioning in healthy subjects aged 60 and above. As per the study, it improves muscle performance by increasing the ratio of type I to type II muscle fibers and by increasing the cross-sectional area of type II muscle fibers.

Furthermore, exercises and workouts also have a positive impact at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Aging causes a decrease in the potential for cell proliferation and reduces the number of stem/progenitor-like cells in tendons. Exercise can induce an increase in tendon collagen synthesis thus boosting tendon strength. Moderate exercise could also enhance the quality of tissue produced during the healing of injured tendons. Physical exercise and fitness activities also have a positive role in maintaining cartilage and bone health.

A European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) task force recommended higher protein intake in combination with physical exercise in post-menopausal women who are at risk of developing a menopause-associated musculoskeletal disease, like Osteoporosis (OP). Physical exercise programs improve strength and balance in aging women with OP. Additionally, fragility fracture risk associated with OP can also be reduced by exercise as it increases bone density and reduces inflammatory symptoms. Thus having an active lifestyle from an early age and following recommendations for exercise can be beneficial for women.

Issued in Public Interest by Dr.Reddy's Laboratories LTD

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