Dr Michael Mosley explains how one simple exercise helps 'slow down' ageing

Dr Michael Mosley as some sound advice
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Dr Michael Mosley claims that he has found a vital exercise which can help people fight the ageing process - and it's been around for thousands of years. The renowned TV doctor says that yoga can help boost strength and flexibility, enhance mood and cull stress and anxiety, and it could also help 'delay or slow down the rate of cellular ageing' according to studies.

Speaking on his Just One Thing BBC podcast, the health guru said: "Yoga is an ancient practice for the body and mind that can boost strength and flexibility. There are many different types of yoga practices, but generally it involves physical poses, breath control and meditation.

"Doing it regularly has shown to lower chronic inflammation, which could help reduce depression and anxiety, and some exciting new research suggests it could even benefit you at a cellular level. There is some really interesting research that suggests that doing regular yoga can lower chronic inflammation – which is linked to heart disease and cancer – and also doing yoga can boost your mood, which might help you with motivation and get you going in other areas of activity.

"Research shows that this mind-body intervention really does come with a wide range of health benefits."

Wales Online reports that a German study from 2018 took three groups of people who took part in yoga, sport or nothing for ten weeks - with brain scans on the yoga group at the end of the trial seeing a large increase in grey matter density of the hippocampus (the part of the brain associated with learning and memory).

Meanwhile, a 2017 study of people with mild or moderate depression saw one group do yoga and another study the history of yoga for 90 minutes twice a week over eight weeks. By the end of the study, 60 per cent of the yoga group were no longer clinically depressed, while there was only a ten per cent improvement in the history group.

Dr Mosley, added: "These effects, along with lower levels of inflammatory markers, are thought to be the main reasons behind yoga’s impact on anxiety and depression. Yoga might also boost our mitochondrial function.

"Mitochondria are tiny power units that live inside our cells and provide us with energy. The better they are working, the better you function."

Dr Mosley also spoke to Professor Rima Dada of the All India Institute of the Medical Services in New Delhi, who said: "Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells so they produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is energy. As mitochondria tends to accumulate mutations and variations they produce less ATP and that is actually the cause of functional decline of tissue and that is how we start to age.

"Through our studies, we have found yoga can improve the mitochondrial integrity as well as the nuclear DNA integrity. If the mitochondrial integrity improves, it produces more ATP, more energy and thereby you can slow down the functional decline of the tissues.

"If we can improve the mitochondrial integrity, decrease the oxidative stress and inflammation, enhance the total anti-oxidant capacity by yoga, we can actually delay or slow down the rate of cellular ageing, thereby reducing our biological age."