Exercise effects on physiological function during aging

Zsolt Radak, Ferenc Torma, Istvan Berkes, Sataro Goto, Tatsuya Mimura, Aniko Posa, Laszlo Balogh, Istvan Boldogh, Katsuhiko Suzuki, Mitsuru Higuchi, Erika Koltai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The decrease in cognitive/motor functions and physical abilities severely affects the aging population in carrying out daily activities. These disabilities become a burden on individuals, families and society in general. It is known that aging conditions are ameliorated with regular exercise, which attenuates the age-associated decline in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), decreases in oxidative damage to molecules, and functional impairment in various organs. While benefits of physical exercise are well-documented, the molecular mechanisms responsible for functional improvement and increases in health span are not well understood. Recent findings imply that exercise training attenuates the age-related deterioration in the cellular housekeeping system, which includes the proteasome, Lon protease, autophagy, mitophagy, and DNA repair systems, which beneficially impacts multiple organ functions. Accumulating evidence suggests that exercise lessens the deleterious effects of aging. However, it seems unlikely that systemic effects are mediated through a specific biomarker. Rather, complex multifactorial mechanisms are involved to maintain homeostatic functions that tend to decline with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 20 2019


  • Cellular housekeeping
  • Exercise
  • Mitochondrial dynamics
  • VO2max

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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