The Zoomer Report: Mice and Exercise

It works for mice, and researchers at McMaster University figure it will work for humans too. Their study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that exercising on a treadmill for 45 minutes three times a week warded off the effects of premature aging. The mice in the study were genetically engineered to age faster. But those who had the exercise training looked as young as healthy mice, and had almost 100 per cent protection from brain and muscle atrophy, anemia, heart enlargement, hair loss and greying of the fur. On the other hand, the sedentary mice were balding, greying, physically inactive, socially isolated and less fertile.

The researchers say the exercise worked better than other attempts to stop aging in mice through drugs and caloric reduction. They believe this shows that exercise truly is the fountain of youth and the recipe for healthy aging. The problem is that it is most people find it difficult. The researchers hope these findings will give them an extra push to get off the couch.

Photo © Roger Asbury

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Libby ZnaimerAbout The Zoomer Report

Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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