Basic concepts about genes, inactivity and aging

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Feb;20(1):1-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.00972.x. Epub 2009 Jul 3.


Remarkably, 80-year-old humans who have partaken in lifelong aerobic or strength training have maximal aerobic capacities or muscle strengths comparable with that of sedentary individuals aged 50 or 55-year-old, respectively. Such delays in functional aging are clinically significant because lower aerobic and lower strength capacities increase the risk of premature death. In this short review, we speculate that the lack of daily physical activity induces evolutionarily selected mechanisms to use or lose, one of which is related to nutritional status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gluconeogenesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Resistance Training
  • Running / physiology
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology