Researchers here coin a term, cellular exercise, to describe the benefits resulting from mild cellular stress and the consequent housekeeping responses. Increased cellular maintenance activities in response to mild stress lead to a net improvement in cell and tissue function. In short-lived laboratory species, interventions that provide chronic mild stress, such as calorie restriction, improve long term health and increase life span. Interventions based on this approach may be less interesting in long-lived species such as our own, however, given that, for example, calorie restriction provides up to 40% extension of life in mice, but at most a few years in humans.
"Cellular exercise" is a concept where low levels of cellular stress, induced by chronic calorie restriction or physical exercise, can lead to molecular adaptations on the cellular level that can protect the body from cancer and cardiovascular disease. An increase in reactive oxygen species induced by caloric restriction and physical exercise can produce improvements in redox equilibrium that can result in a more adaptive capable cell.
Insulin-like growth factor-1 has a dual effect wherein calorie restriction downregulates insulin-like growth factor-1 inhibiting pathways of carcinogenic proliferation and metastasis and physical exercise can upregulate insulin-like growth factor-1 to promote mitochondrial biogenesis and protein synthesis thereby strengthening healthy muscle against hypoxic ischemic damage and muscular regenerative properties. Transcription of Nrf2 is also upregulated to attenuate inflammation induced by nuclear factor-κB, AMPK upregulates genes through PGC-1α to prevent sarcopenia and induce lipolysis.
This molecular melody is the complex composition that explains the cellular adaption that occurs to strengthen the body from cognitive dysfunction, cardiometabolic failure and carcinogenic implantation and metastasis via mechanisms of redox equilibrium, oxidative protection, attenuation of inflammation, and attenuation of carcinogenic proliferation and growth.