Newswise — Rockville, Md. (October 13, 2021)—Endurance exercise such as biking or running is more beneficial to human health than resistance exercise such as weightlifting, according to the findings of a new study. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology and has been chosen as an APSselect article for October.

Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouse of cells. Increased mitochondrial activity, which occurs after exercise, can help improve overall metabolic health. Good metabolic health translates to ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference. On the other hand, poor metabolic health means your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke increases. That’s why robust physical activity—in this case, endurance training—is encouraged. 

Researchers from Karolinska University Hospital and Linköping University in Sweden determined endurance exercises stimulate circulating levels of certain mitochondrial-derived peptides, which could lead to increased longevity and metabolic health. They did not find similar beneficial results from resistance exercise.

“This stresses it’s our own responsibility to be active and keep moving,” said co-researcher Ferdinand von Walden, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “This is one small piece that adds to the importance of being a physically active individual, so stay active.” 

Read the full article, “Acute endurance exercise stimulates circulating levels of mitochondrial-derived peptides in humans.” It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact APS Media Relations or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in our Newsroom.

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.

Journal Link: Journal of Applied Physiology