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Regular Exercise Reduces Measures of Immunosenescence in Old Individuals

Regular Exercise Reduces Measures of Immunosenescence in Old Individuals

Regular exercise improves many aspects of health in later life. It reduces incidence of age-related disease and mortality risk by a significant degree. It improves near all aspects of metabolism, and reverses the downward decline of many metrics of health and aging. Hunter-gatherer populations that sustain high levels of physical activity into later life exhibit a fraction of the cardiovascular disease of populations in wealthier parts of the world. The work here illustrates another known relationship: that active older individuals have a better immune function than their less active peers, as exercise improves the measured immune cell population metrics.

Regular physical activity has a profound effect on normal functioning of the immune system. For decades it has been accepted that prolonged periods of high-intensity exercise could depress immunity. However, current evidence from epidemiological studies shows that leading a physically active lifestyle is likely to be beneficial rather than harmful to the immune function. Exercise-induced improvements in immunity can be related to reduction in inflammation, maintenance of thymic mass, changes in the composition of memory and naïve T lymphocytes or enhanced immunosurveillance. Indeed, physical activity is a powerful intervention that has a great potential to improve immune


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