Science Shows That The Older You Are, The More Exercise Impacts Your Cells

Exercise benefits our bodies. But, scientists really didn’t know what it did to our cells…until now. The result: It’s never to old to start exercising.

The Mayo Clinic Recently Conducted Study On How Exercise Impacts Our Cells



  • The participants were 72 sedentary, but healthy men and women who were either 30 or younger or older than 64.
  • The following baseline measurements were gathered: blood sugar levels, gene, activity, their muscle’s mitochondrial health, and aerobic fitness. This labwork was repeated after a 12 week exercise program.
  • Participants were randomly assigned to a particular exercise regimen.

Exercise routines ranged from brief interval training 3 times a week on stationary bikes, vigorous weight training several times a week, riding stationary bikes at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a few times a week or lifted weights lightly on other days. The fourth group, being the control group, did not exercise.

Some Findings Were Expected



  •  The greatest gains in muscle mass and strength were greater for those who exercised with weights.
  • Those who completed interval training were impacted the most on endurance.

Unexpected Results Were Also Found


  • Younger participants who went through interval training experienced activity levels changing in 274 genes. While 170 genes underwent changes in those who exercised more moderately. In weightlifters, only 74 activity levels changed.
  • Older participants who went through interval levels saw 400 genes undergo changes in activity levels. Weight lifters saw 33 genes change in activity levels and only 19 for moderate exercisers.

The Upshot


Many of the affected genes are believed to influence the ability of the mitochondria to influence energy for cells. It seems as if the decline in cellular health of muscles was “corrected” with exercise. The more intense the exercise the better. In fact, the older the participant, the larger the impact that intense exercise had on cell activity.


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