A Lifetime of Exercise Slows Aging Process
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
If you have been meaning to add more exercise to your daily routine, you may want to start sooner rather than later.
A 2018 study has found that a lifetime of regular exercise and activity can slow down the aging process.
Researchers at Britain's University of Birmingham and King's College London say that getting older should not necessarily mean becoming more weak or sick. Their research shows that a commitment to a life of movement and exercise may help us live not only longer, but also healthier.
For their study, the researchers looked at two groups.
The first group was made up of 125 non-professional cyclists between the ages of 55 to 79. This group included 84 healthy men and 41 healthy women. We will call this group the "cyclists."
Researchers then found 130 people to make up a second group. Within this group, 75 people were aged 57 to 80. The other 55 were between the ages of 20 and 36. The people in this group were also healthy, but they did not exercise regularly. We will call this group the "non-exercisers."
Smokers, heavy drinkers of alcohol and people with other health issues were not included in the study.
Then, researchers gave both groups a series of tests. They tested their muscle mass, muscular strength, percentage of body fat, cholesterol levels and the strength of their immune systems. And male participants had their testosterone levels checked.
Then the researchers compared the results of the two groups.
Results showed that the cyclists did not experience body changes usually equated with a normal aging process. For example, they did not lose muscle mass or strength. Also, their body fat and cholesterol levels did not increase with age.
The male cyclists' testosterone levels had also remained high. Researchers say this may mean that they avoided at least one major symptom of male menopause.
Surprising find of the study
The researchers also found something they had not expected. The study showed that the immune systems of the cyclists did not seem to age either. For this, they looked at an organ called the thymus. The thymus makes immune cells called T-cells.
The University of Arizona's biology department explains on its website that T-cells are a type of white blood cell and are made in our bone marrow.
As the article says: "There are two types of T-cells in your body: Helper T-cells and Killer T-cells. Killer T-cells do the work of destroying the infected cells. The Helper T-cells coordinate the attack."
Starting at about the age of 20, the thymus of most people starts to get smaller. It also starts to make fewer T-cells.
However, in this study, the T-cell production by the thymuses of the cyclists had not slowed down with age. They were making as many T-cells as those of a young person.
Advice for us all
Janet Lord is director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham. In a press statement, she offers the words of Hippocrates, often called the "father of medicine."
She writes: "Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man's best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society."
Professor Stephen Harridge is director of the Centre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King's College London. He addressed the common question of what came first -- the chicken or the egg? In this case, the question became, "Which came first -- the healthy behavior or the good health?"
When talking about the findings of the study, he said "the cyclists do not exercise because they are healthy, but that they are healthy because they have been exercising" for such a large portion of their lives.
The researchers advise us all to find an exercise that we like and to make physical activity a priority in our lives.
They published their findings in Aging Cell. The study is part of ongoing research by the two universities.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.daily routine 日常生活
The players had to change their daily routine and lifestyle.
2.physical activity 体育锻炼
She has a low threshold of boredom and needs the constant stimulation of physical activity.
3.a series of 一系列
A series of technical foul-ups delayed the launch of the new product.
4.immune systems 免疫系统
Extreme stress can impair the development of the nervous and immune systems.
5.However, in this study, the T-cell production by the thymuses of the cyclists had not slowed down with age.
slowed down 放缓；减慢
The car slowed down as they passed Customs.
He has slowed down a lot since his heart attack.
6.In this case, the question became, "Which came first -- the healthy behavior or the good health?"
In this case 既然如此
In this case it is necessary to cancel the Party planned for june16th.
There is a particular urgency in this case, and it would help if you could bend the rules.
第一组由125位年龄在55岁到79岁之间的非职业自行车骑手组成。这一组包括84位健康男性和41位健康女性 。我们将这组称为“骑手队” 。
随后，研究人员又将另外的130人组成第二组。这一组中有75人的年龄在57到80岁之间；另外55人年龄在20到36岁之间 。该组成员的身体也很健康，不过他们没有定期锻炼 。我们将这一组称为“不健身队” 。
然后，研究人员为两组人分别做了一系列的测试。他们测试了研究对象的肌肉质量、肌肉力量、体脂含量、胆固醇水平以及免疫系统能力 。此外，还检查了男性参与者的睾丸激素水平 。
结果表明，“骑手队”的身体变化比正常的衰老过程缓慢。比如，他们没有失去肌肉质量或力量 。此外，他们的体脂含量和胆固醇水平没有随着年龄增长而增加 。
研究人员还发现了一些出乎意料的事情。研究表明，“骑手队”的免疫系统似乎没有衰老迹象 。为此，他们检查了研究对象的胸腺 。胸腺生成的免疫细胞为“T细胞”（T淋巴细胞） 。
正如文章所述：“人体内有两种T细胞：辅助性T细胞和细胞毒性T细胞（又称“杀伤性T细胞”）。杀伤性T细胞会破坏感染的细胞 。辅助性T细胞负责调节或协助免疫反应 。
不过, 在这项研究中, “骑行队”胸腺的T细胞生成并没有因年龄增长而放缓。他们分化的T细胞和年轻人一样多 。
珍妮特·洛德（Janet Lord）是伯明翰大学炎症与衰老研究所的主任。她在一份新闻声明中引用了素有“医学之父”之称的希波克拉底的名言 。
斯蒂芬·哈里奇（Stephen Harridge）教授是伦敦国王学院人类与航空航天生理学中心的主任。他提到一个常见的问题——“先有鸡还是先有蛋？” 。在这项研究中，问题变成了: “先有健康行为还是先有健康体魄呢？” 。