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Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018 May 25;9:258. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00258. eCollection 2018.

Aging Hallmarks: The Benefits of Physical Exercise.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
Clínica do Dragão, Espregueira-Mendes Sports Centre - FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, Porto, Portugal.
Dom Henrique Research Centre, Porto, Portugal.
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department, Coimbra Hospital and University Center, Coimbra, Portugal.
Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
3B's Research Group-Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Guimarães, Portugal.
ICVS/3B's-PT Government Associate Laboratory, Guimarães, Braga, Portugal.
Orthopaedics Department of Minho University, Minho, Portugal.


World population has been continuously increasing and progressively aging. Aging is characterized by a complex and intraindividual process associated with nine major cellular and molecular hallmarks, namely, genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, a loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication. This review exposes the positive antiaging impact of physical exercise at the cellular level, highlighting its specific role in attenuating the aging effects of each hallmark. Exercise should be seen as a polypill, which improves the health-related quality of life and functional capabilities while mitigating physiological changes and comorbidities associated with aging. To achieve a framework of effective physical exercise interventions on aging, further research on its benefits and the most effective strategies is encouraged.


aging; cellular; hallmarks; life span; molecular; physical exercise

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