Fitness School, Q30

Will regular fitness stomp aging in the face or is the thymus destined to go wry as we age no matter our fitness and food choices?

Some additional meatless food to go with todays fitness question, and once you have finished up your plate, proceed to the gate of knowledge and power up.

You see, I have for years been a vocal proponent in articles and with clients of how we do not simply grow old like some archaic fairy tale myth where people are doomed to live fat and unhealthy and frail once they leave their 20´s behind them.

No instead, my science-backed message is that we simply create and manage our own aging process according to our own choices in food, life, and fitness.

Be it lean muscle mass, body fat, bone health, even our brain and plenty of natural hormones. Our daily choices carry such incredible weight when it comes down to all these aspects of our own wellbeing and health, much more so than the number of years we have lived or the genes we inherit. And Science agrees because this message is born in actual science and not personal opinion.

But, how about our immune system?

In sedentary people, our thymus slowly becomes less capable as we mature beyond our 20´s. That is a simple fact.

And so, my question for you: 
Will regular fitness stomp aging in the face or is the thymus and the stuff it does for us destined to go wry as we age no matter our fitness and food choices?.

Your options

  1. According to a study, published March 2018, regular fitness activity ( no, working in the garden does not cut it, this was real and exhausting fitness activity happening on a weekly schedule ) more or less annihilates the usual thymic atrophy we can otherwise see in adults beyond their 20´s. So much so that people in the age bracket 50–80 in the study ended up with almost the same t cell and thymus capacity as their 20–30 counterparts. 
    T cell and thymus activity and its influence on our immune system are destined to go kaboom once we hit our 20´s. And no amount of healthy fit choices will ever change that.

And the correct answer can be found below my Scandinavian photography.

views from Scandinavia by Mike Koontz

Option 1 is the correct answer. 
Last few years have continued to prove one thing. 
Hereditary genes and the march of time matters so much less so than our own daily choices in food, life, and fitness.

And this particular study published in ‘Aging cell’ gives us even more incentive to rewire the way we think about biological aging and to start thinking about healthy fit aging as a simple tool ( and daily choice ).

You see, we already have the scientific knowledge and tools to reach a high age while still being fit, healthy, fresh and young on the inside, and that is through our own daily life choices in food, fitness, and sustainability. 
We simply do not grow old in ways that are completely out of our hands, instead, science is rapidly and persistently teaching us that we actually create our own aging process through the way we live and the world we shape.

Paraphrasing from the study, and as always, you can find the link to it down below. 
“Regular physical activity in older adults has been associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, TNFα (Gleeson et al., 2011), improved neutrophil chemotaxis (Bartlett et al., 2016) and NK cell cytotoxicity (Woods et al., 1999), increased T-cell proliferation (Woods et al., 1999) and improved vaccination responses.”

And, how about our tasty little Thymus and the t cells?. 
Well, regular and exhausting fitness was in this study clearly shown to reduce the decline in thymic output.

Regular fitness reduced inflammation and increased Th17 cell responses, but the accumulation of senescent T cells was unphased so some things are indeed outside of the scope of health and fitness, but just as with the minor role our hereditary genes play vs our daily choices, what matters is the substantial part of our aging process which is in our own hands.

Other things that were positively impacted by regular fitness workouts was maintaining high serum levels of IL-7 and IL-15 and keeping low levels of IL-6.

All good things for our precious little thymus and T cells in other words.

And to conclude if you are looking for a short summary.

What this study show ( and others before it ) is that loss of muscle mass and strength do not occur in people who exercise in exhausting ways regularly. 
The 50–80 age group that kept active with their fitness further did not increase their body fat or cholesterol levels and the men’s testosterone levels also remained high.

One more quote.
“We conclude that maintained physical activity into middle and old age protects against many aspects of immune aging which are in large part lifestyle driven.”

This particular study was published March 2018 in ‘Aging Cell’. And the link is available over at my Scandinavian library for a healthier world ‘norse View’.

Keep on grinding people, and stay healthy fit.