We tend to talk about how exercise helps parts of our body like our muscles and heart function better, or how many calories it will burn to help with weight loss. Exercise is about so much more than that though. How often to you consider what exercise does for your cells?
Two blogs ago we discussed how strength training signals new bone cell growth. At certain stages in life, more bone cells die off than they are made each day. Over time this leads to osteoporosis, fractures and a major change in lifestyle with aging. Strength training however tells your body to make more bone cells! You can almost imagine those muscles contracting tugging on bones saying “hey bone cells, time to up production! You are going to need more strength!”.
Well it looks like a similar thing happens in muscle cells – in a way that slow down the aging process.
“Whether muscle is healthy or not really determines whether the entire body is healthy or not,” says lead researcher Prof. Zhen Yan, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.
According to the new study, exercise improves muscle health by renewing its cellular powerhouse: the mitochondria. Mitochondria are crucial to the good functioning of our bodies, as well as to our overall health and longevity.
These tiny parts of the cell turn the food we eat into energy. Mitochondria transform proteins, fats, and sugars into the fuel that the body needs to live.
It is like exercise tells your muscle cells “OK folks, time to clean up this place! Get all those old and damaged mitochondria out of here!”. This makes each cell function better. Check out this article for more information.
Ahh… if only your cells could talk! You would hear a big, loud “THANK YOU!” each time you exercise!
Keep Moving, Be Well,