If you think endurance exercise only helps you loose a few pounds, think again! When you lace up your running shoes or go to a spin class, you are telling your stem cells what to do to make you healthier.
Researchers have found that endurance exercises, such as jogging, spinning class, or swimming, can trigger influential stem cells to become bone instead of fat.
Exercise significantly increases blood cells in the marrow and in circulation. The number of muscle stem cells are also increased while their ability to rejuvenate old muscles greatly enhanced.
Our body produces something called mesenchymal stem cells that can be differentiated into bone cells, or fat cells. When researchers looked at treadmill-trained mice (at progressive speeds, 3 times a week, over a 10-wk period), they found that endurance exercise makes the stem cells preferentially mature into bone cells in the bone marrow cavity which increases the productivity of blood stem cells.In sedentary mice, the same stem cells were more likely to become fat in the bone marrow cavities which makes blood cells become less productive and can result in conditions such as anemia.
We all know exercise increases muscle mass, but how about muscle stem cells?
In another study, which also looked at treadmill-trained mice (20 minutes a day for 13 weeks), discovered that exercise increased the number of satellite cells (muscle stem cells). Satellite cells normally declines as we age and this contributes to the age-associated deterioration in muscle mass and muscle repair capacity.
Interestingly, the older rats benefit more than the younger rats. The younger rats showed a 20% to 35% increase in the average number of stem cells per muscle fiber retained and older rats exhibiting a 33% to 47% increase in stem cells.
So next time if you need one more reason to put on the tennis shoes, think about your stem cells. Your effort will be greatly appreciated.
To view the first paper, click here.
To view the second paper, click here.
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