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Cell Metab. 2016 Jun 14;23(6):1034-1047. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.05.007.

Exercise Promotes Healthy Aging of Skeletal Muscle.

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Muscle Biology Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA; Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA; Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Department of Kinesiology, Centre for Translational Biology, McGill University Health Center, Montréal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada; Meakins Christie Laboratories, McGill University, Montréal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada; Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada.
Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA; UAB Center for Exercise Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA; Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA.
Section of Integrative Physiology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Solna, Sweden; Section of Integrative Physiology, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark; Faculty of Health and Medical Science, University of Copenhagen, 1165 Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:


Primary aging is the progressive and inevitable process of bodily deterioration during adulthood. In skeletal muscle, primary aging causes defective mitochondrial energetics and reduced muscle mass. Secondary aging refers to additional deleterious structural and functional age-related changes caused by diseases and lifestyle factors. Secondary aging can exacerbate deficits in mitochondrial function and muscle mass, concomitant with the development of skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Exercise opposes deleterious effects of secondary aging by preventing the decline in mitochondrial respiration, mitigating aging-related loss of muscle mass and enhancing insulin sensitivity. This review focuses on mechanisms by which exercise promotes "healthy aging" by inducing modifications in skeletal muscle.

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