It is generally believe that physical exercise keeps people fit and healthy, but while there are different types of exercises, the question is, what type of training should you embrace for healthy ageing?
This was what the question Germane researchers from Leipzig University in Germany, set to unravel when they embarked on the investigation to know whether different types of physical exercise can slow down processes of biological ageing.
Having sampled 266 young and healthy participants in different exercises, the researchers found that volunteers who did endurance and high-intensity training, telomerase activity and telomere length increased, which are both important for cellular ageing, regenerative capacity and thus, healthy ageing.
According to the lead author, Prof. Ulrich Laufs :”Our main finding is that, compared to the start of the study and the control group, in volunteers who did endurance and high-intensity training, telomerase activity and telomere length increased, which are both important for cellular aging, regenerative capacity and thus, healthy ageing. Interestingly, resistance training did not exert these effects”.
The study team, made up of researchers from Leipzig University in Germany in collaboration with colleagues from other research institutions, studied telomere length and telomerase activity in 266 participants who engaged in one of three types of exercise for the duration of the study, which was six months, namely, endurance exercise, high-intensity interval training, or resistance training.
The findings published in the European Heart Journal and reported on Medical News Today, explained the essence of each of the three exercises stating that endurance exercise is meant to help a person improve their stamina, and it includes activities such as running, swimming, and cycling. High-intensity interval exercise is similar, but it requires a person to undergo short bursts of intense training, followed by rest and recovery, and then intense training again. Finally, resistance — or strength — training is meant to boost a person’s physical strength, and involves activities such as weightlifting.
To arrive at their findings, the scientists randomly split the participants into four groups, as follows: Some had to take up endurance training, some took up high-intensity interval training, some participants undertook resistance training and those in the final group continued to lead their sedentary lifestyles.
For effective measurement of the type of training with most supporting healthy aging result, the researchers collected blood samples from the participants, once at baseline, and then again 2–7 days after the final training session at the end of the study.
“Looking at telomere length and telomerase activity in the participants’ white blood cells, the researchers found that those individuals who had engaged in endurance training and high-intensity interval training enjoyed the most benefits”, said Prof. Laufs.