Regular exercise promotes antioxidant action

Regular exercise promotes antioxidant action

Different people have different reasons for exercising. While some want to slim down and control their weight, others want to sculpt their bodies with robust muscle tone. Regardless of why you want to work out, the important thing to remember is that your whole body can benefit from regular physical activity.

More evidence supporting this idea has recently been published in Age, the Journal of the American Aging Association. In the research article, scientists from Northern Arizona University asserted that exercise has positive effects on the antioxidant mechanisms that protect cell health from damage. However, the strength of these effects could depend partly on your age.

What are antioxidants?
As time passes, your cells accumulate more and more damage as a result of free radicals. These toxins come from pollution, radiation, cigarettes, processed foods and other sources. Your body will even produce its own free radicals when it converts food to fuel. Ultimately, free radicals drive the aging process.

Free radical damage promotes aging.However, you can neutralize the effects of these toxins with antioxidants, according to the National Institutes of Health. These nutrients include lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene, selenium and vitamins A, C and E. Many of them are found in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a premium nutritional supplement system, such as HealthyCell.

Antioxidants and exercise cooperate
To get a better idea of how physical activity impacts the aging process and the antioxidant pathways in cells, the authors of the new study conducted an experiment that included two groups of adults. While the research participants in one study arm were between the ages of 18 and 25 years, those in the other arm were at least 50. During the experiment, people rode a bicycle vigorously for 45 minutes. They all came in the day after and had blood pressure cuffs inflated on their arms to create oxidative stress on the cells. Meanwhile, the researchers collected blood samples from them to analyze their cells’ response to the stress.

Results showed that the one exercise session was enough stimulate the antioxidant pathways in the cells of the younger study subjects, according to researcher Tinna Traustadóttir.

“The young people got protection from this one bout of exercise – their response to the oxidative stress challenge was lower.”

However, these effects weren’t observed among the older adults. The researchers theorized that this may be due to less active cell signaling, which they asserted can be improved with more regular workouts.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people ages 18 years and older should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or doubles tennis, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity every week, such as jogging or lap swimming. The same is true for adults ages 65 years and older, provided that their doctors say they are healthy enough to engage in these exercises.

If you are worried about whether you’re getting enough exercise, but you feel you don’t have enough time, it’s acceptable to break your workout sessions up into 10-minute increments. Short walks around the block can be sufficient.