Oh exercise…is there anything you can’t do? Giving your cardiovascular system a workout as been implicated in enhancing your creative streak, lifting you out of the doldrums, and, of course, dropping your risk for physical problems.
The good news doesn’t stop there. In addition to making us feel great and look better on the macro level, exercise also stimulates our cells to “take out the trash” through a process called autophagy:
Autophagy affects metabolism and has wide-ranging health-related benefits in the body, and so does exercise,” says Dr. Beth Levine, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at U.T. Southwestern. “There seemed to be considerable overlap, in fact, between the health-related benefits of exercise and those of autophagy,” but it wasn’t clear how the two interacted, she says.
So she and her colleagues had lab mice run. The animals first had been medically treated so that the membranes that engulf debris inside their cells would glow, revealing themselves to the researchers. After just 30 minutes of running, the mice had significantly more membranes in cells throughout their bodies, the researchers found, meaning they were undergoing accelerated autophagy.
Sometimes a little physiological stress can go a long way.