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Fight the aging process with exercise, study says

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Not looking forward to wrinkles, a faulty memory, and creaking knees? A study has shown that exercise might be your best bet in slowing the aging process.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, followed some mice that were genetically designed to age more quickly than normal. When they exercised, these mice actually reversed their fate; they looked and behaved like healthy young mice, while their non-exercising counterparts were losing their fur, fertility, and interest in social interaction. Drucilla Dyess wrote an article for HealthNews, "Exercise May Be the Most Effective Weapon Against Aging," in which she quoted lead researcher Mark Tarnopolsky: "What really shocked us was the gonads, the spleen, liver -- every tissue we looked at was made better with the exercise. It has a systemic effect and even prevented a slight shrinkage of the brain."

In addition, Dyess writes that "...the exercise routine provided nearly 100 percent protection against graying fur, hair loss, brain and muscle atrophy, and more."

What's good for those mice is good for us, too. Tarnopolsky is quoted again in the article, saying, "Many people falsely believe that the benefits of exercise will be found in a pill. We have clearly shown that there is no substitute for the ‘real thing’ of exercise when it comes to protection from aging. Get moving, get active, and get your kids moving while they are young."

Denver, how many more reasons do we need to fill our group fitness classes, hit the slopes, and play tag with our kids? Take care of that body you live in. It's worth it in every way.

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