Canadian researchers have found that exercising in old age could help increase the pace of muscle repair after injury.

While studying mice to understand the effects of exercise on aging muscles, the team of researchers from McMaster University, Canada found more evidence to back the benefits of exercise on old age. It’s widely believed that the speed of muscle repair declines as you age, and some doctors conclude that after a certain age complete repair of the muscles after injury wasn’t possible.

However, the Canadian study proved otherwise by studying three groups of mice. The first group included old mice that were exercise trained; the second, old mice that were not exercise trained; and the third young mice that were not exercise trained.

To compare the rate of muscle repair the mice were injected with a snake venom which induced muscle injury, with the researchers comparing their state before and 10 and 28 days following the injection. The results showed that after just eight weeks of exercise, the older mice benefited from faster muscle repair and regained more muscle mass, than their old counterparts that did not exercise.

Thoru Pederson, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, which published the results, is quoted as saying, “This is a clean demonstration that the physiological and metabolic benefits of exercise radiate to skeletal muscle satellite cells, the adult stem cells responsible for repair after injury, even in senescent animals.”

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