ISLAMABAD: Older people who do regular exercise may find it protects their muscles by helping them to repair more quickly after injury. Researchers came to this conclusion after studying the effect of exercise in aged mice.
 
The study, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was published in The FASEB Journal.
 
Senior author Gianni Parise, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, says:
"Exercise-conditioning rescues delayed skeletal muscle regeneration observed in advanced age."
The authors conclude that exercise pre-conditioning appears to improve the ability of skeletal muscle to regenerate after injury in aged mice.
 
Adult muscles contain satellite cells - quiescent stem cells that become active when injury occurs. On activation, they repair damaged muscle and replenish the pool of stem cells.
 
The researchers found the pre-injury quantities of satellite cells in the animals' muscle fibers was greater in the old exercised mice than in the old non-exercised mice.
 
Dr. Thoru Pederson, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, says the study is a "clean demonstration" that even in old animals, "the physiological and metabolic benefits of exercise radiate to skeletal muscle satellite cells."
 
He notes that even as the ability of muscle tissue to contract reduces with age, the capacity of the satellite cells to respond to the effects of exercise appears to be maintained.
 
Prof. Gianni Parise concluded that "Exercise pre-conditioning may improve the muscle repair response in older adults to stimuli such as acute periods of atrophy/inactivity and/or damage."