- Sestrin is an already exisiting protein that can improve endurance
- Sestrin was found to keep immobilized muscles from atrophying
- The elderly can swear by yoga to stay fit and healthy
For the elderly, injured and the physically challenged, exercising can be slightly difficult to manage. However, a new research indicates that existing protein supplement can provide some important benefits of exercise. Sestrin is a naturally-occurring protein which accumulates in muscles after intense physical activity, as it has been found in previous studies. Researchers from University of Michigan found to see if artificially increasing an animal's Sestrin levels could churn out the beneficial effects that are associated with the protein. They began with their research with three groups of drosophila flies.
One group was normal, one group had been bred to lack the ability to produce Sestrin, and one had been altered to overexpress Sestrin. All three groups were physically trained for three weeks, on a sort of mini treadmill designed by colleagues at Detroit's Wayne State University.
On testing the insects' ability to run and fly for prolong periods of time, regular flies were found to be improved, while those lacking Sestrin had not. Flies that were overexposed to protein experienced even more improvement than regular flies.
The protein Sestrin, however, may do more than just boost endurance. On exposing mice to Sestrin, no improvement was seen in aerobic capacity, respiration and the ability to burn fat. In a related study conducted at Spain's Pompeu Fabra University, Sestrin was found to keep immobilized muscles from atrophying - this finding could be particularly applicable to people who have an injured limb encased within a cast.
Scientists are now further exploring the manner in which Sestrin which is produced in the body, and are also working towards development of supplements containing this protein.
Tips for the elderly to stay fit and healthy
As we have mentioned in numerous of our previous articles, exercising is important for one and all. People of all age groups must include some kind of exercise in their daily routine for being fit, healthy and disease-free. Following are some exercise options for the elderly:
1. Yoga: Yoga can help the elderly improve muscle tone and balance. The latter is specifically important as the elderly at increased risk of falls. Yoga can also improve strength and mood. Breathing exercises like pranayama can improve lung capacity. The likes of child pose and shavasana can help you sleep better.
2. Recreational activities: According to celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala, doing recreational activities like gardening or playing golf, for even twice a week, can improve fitness level in elderly. These activities, she says, can also improve their psychological state of mind.
3. Walking: Going for a long walk can be surprisingly refreshing. Brisk walking is considered to be an effective cardio exercise that can improve aerobic fitness.
4. Cycling: Cycling is another great cardio exercise. The elderly can opt for low-intensity cycling to improve their strength and stamina.
5. Pilates: Now this is an exercise regime which is beneficial for all age groups. Many Pilates exercises can be performed without weights while lying, reclining or seated. Benefits of Pilates for the elderly include improved strength, flexibility and endurance, improved body awareness, lesser risk of falls and improved mobility. Pilates can also reduce severity of debilitating medical conditions in the elderly.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.