UNM faculty recruit for age and exercise study : UNM Newsroom

It’s never too late to start exercising. It was a saying tossed about by health experts for decades.

While there is different recommendations for different age groups, exercise frequency and duration, the bottom line is usually that getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop moving.

But, according to new ongoing research by UNM anthropologist Ian Wallace and exercise science faculty members Fabiano Amorim and Christine Mermier, there may be additional challenges to living up to that commitment for people. elderly.

These researchers are collaborating on a study to answer the question of whether aging affects the body’s ability to recover after long exercise. This could indirectly contribute to responding to an even greater evolution dilemma.

“The big evolutionary question is whether human bodies have evolved to remain highly physically active over long lifespans,” Wallace said. “It’s a question for which there should be an obvious answer, but it remains unclear.”

Amorim and Wallace say the partnership combines expertise in human evolutionary biology and exercise physiology.

“There is reason to suspect that as we age, our body tissues are less able to repair themselves after exercise.said Amorim. However, directly measuring tissue repair can be difficult, especially in the elderly. In this study, we assess recovery after exercise indirectly, by measuring changes in energy metabolism.”

To investigate their important questions, the team recruits 15 young people (aged 18-35) and 15 older people (60+).

For two consecutive days in a lab at the Johnson Center, each participant is hooked up to a metabolic cart while their oxygen consumption is measured. This consumption is equivalent to metabolic rate, and is watched before and after walking on a treadmill for two hours.

“That’s really what interests us the most, seeing how an exercise session elevates metabolic rate after exercise,” Wallace said.

After exercise, researchers measure what is called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Also known as afterburn, Wallace says it’s that heavy breathing feeling after intense running, like the length of a football field.

EPOC is measured in a quiet room, where all exhaled gases are collected. Researchers are comparing post-exercise oxygen consumption between older and younger people to gauge how long it takes for their metabolism to return to normal levels before exercise.

“We use EPOC measurement to determine how much energy the body uses to repair and maintain tissue after exercise. This is a way to indirectly measure the repair mechanism activated by exercise,” Amorim said.

EPOC is not only related to tissue repair. The higher the EPOC, the more energy your body uses to repair and maintain your body. less energy is also stored like fat. Usually, the less fat accumulation, especially abdominal fat, the healthier and longer life exercise is.

“We hope our research will encourage people to better appreciate the importance of physical activity throughout life,” Wallace said.

There are still opportunities for membership. Researchers recruit for the age groups mentioned above. Each participant will receive compensation of $150. Anyone interested can contact Ian Wallace Where Fabien Amorim.

Learn about the exciting research being done in the Department of Anthropology and Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences.

Comments are closed.