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Three Months of Strength Training Inflammation Related Genes in Older Women: Brand New Study

As we age, our important inflammatory biomarkers continue to elevate, thus increasing our risk of chronic disease. Research consistency indicates that exercise effectively counteracts this chronic, low-grade inflammation. Perhaps the most important discovery in the field of exercise over the last 12 years is that when we exercise, our muscles release myokines, microscopic proteins that induce an anti-inflammatory response and in doing so, decrease our risk of an array of chronic diseases. Authors of a brand-new study published in the scientific journal Cells designed an experiment to better understand what type of strength training impacted our anti-inflammatory response.

The study divided subjects (women over 65 years of age) into three groups: Heavy load strength training (using 80% of their one-rep maximum and aiming for 10 reps), light load strength training (using 40% of their one-rep maximum and aiming for 30 reps), and a control group who did not strength train but instead, performed gentle stretching.

The results? The researchers concluded that both heavy load and light load strength training positively impacted gene pathways that prevent or blunt inflammation. Interesting, of the 98 genes investigated and affected, some pathways were more positively influenced by heavy weights while other gene pathways were more positively influenced by lighter weights. This study provides support for using a variety of rep ranges and both heavy, moderate, and lighter weights in our strength training as these varying training methodologies may have different impacts on the pathways that influence an anti-inflammatory response.

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