I go to a Silver Sneakers class at the YMCA.  The program is a supplemental Medicare benefit, for which I won’t qualify for years, but it’s at a good time, combines strength, stretching, balance, and cardio, has nice people and great oldies music, including You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, one of the few disco-era songs I like.  (Red-Headed Stranger came out about then, and it was Willie and the boys for me after that.) I also started doing a Nautilus circuit at the Y, after watching Robert for about 6 months.

This morning I ran across a release on a research report headlined Fountain of Youth in Your Muscles? , on the mechanism by which endurance exercise (hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, jogging, housework, mowing the lawn) builds muscle – and can “rejuvenate” old muscle.

Presumably what applies to rats applies to people:

Endurance exercise also improved the levels of “spontaneous locomotion” — the feeling that tells our bodies to just get up and dance — of old rats. Aging is typically associated with a reduced level of spontaneous locomotion.

The combination of aging and a sedentary lifestyle significantly contributes to the development of diseases such as osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as a decline in cognitive abilities. If researchers can discover a method to “boost” satellite cells in our muscles, that could simulate the performance of young and healthy muscles — and hold our aging bones in place.

The astonishing conclusion?

With this advance, we can let ourselves dream about creating a new drug for humans — one that could increase muscle mass and ameliorate the negative effects of aging.

I’d rather dance…

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