UVA research suggests frequent exercise could prevent and treat some diseases

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 12:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests frequent exercise could prevent non-communicable diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.

Dr. Zhen Yan says the cells in our body can sense problems and perform quality control on the mitochondria. Yan says the mitochondria acts similarly to a battery that needs to be charged and tested. When it is damaged or dysfunctional, it lends to non-communicable diseases.

Through research studies, Yan found that regular exercise helps to keep the mitochondria “charged” and in working condition.

“Start where you are and gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise. If anything, this kind of study will really encourage us to do it,” Yan said.

Yan says diseases that can be treated and prevented by exercise cost the United States millions of dollars each year. Additionally, people with underlying conditions and disease are also more likely to die from COVID-19.

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