Looking to boost energy levels and stave off degeneration of aging muscle? Add workouts to your daily routine to become more energetic and perform day-to-day activities better, say York University muscle health researchers.
“Our recent study shows that exercise leads to expansion of the mitochondrial network and, as a result, energy is distributed to muscle in a more effective manner,” says Professor David Hood from the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health.
On the other hand, the research shows that mitochondria become smaller or more fragmented when the muscle is not used – due to aging, for example – which leads to cellular damage and degeneration of muscle cells.
The study, “Expression of Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion Regulation Proteins in Skeletal Muscle During Chronic Use and Disuse”, assesses the effects of aging on mitochondrial morphology and has been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed journal Muscle and Nerve.
Led by Hood, director of the Muscle Health Research Centre at York, the study was conducted by his graduate students Sobia Iqbal, Olga Ostojic, Kaustabh Singh and Anna-Maria Joseph.
The findings indicate that the proteins involved in maintaining the size and shape of mitochondria are also regulated by exercise, or lack thereof. According to the researchers, this can have important implications for energy production in muscle, the benefits of exercise and the consequences of chronic inactivity on our health.
The research received support from a Natural Science & Engineering Research Council of Canada grant.