New research from the University of Leeds shows a vital protein in the body may play an important role in helping us achieve our fitness goals, says Dr. Miriam Stoppard
Image: Getty Images)
I’m all too aware that when I skip my daily exercise, it’s extremely difficult to pick up the reins and get back into my usual routine.
I thought it was just my muscles getting lazy, but research from Leeds University shows it goes deeper.
My deconditioning could be due to the deactivation of a vital protein in the body called Piezo1, which increases the number of blood vessels that carry blood to the muscles.
Turning off Piezo1 reduces blood flow to the muscles, making it harder to train and reducing your performance.
The results would help explain why workouts, jogs and walks become harder when you break the habit.
Fiona Bartoli, post-doctoral researcher at Leeds Medical School, said: “Our study underscores the critical link between physical activity and physical performance that Piezo1 makes at this level.”
While the experiments were performed on mice, the same protein is found in humans, suggesting similar results would occur in us.
Bartoli added: “Exercise protects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and cancer.
“Unfortunately, for reasons such as injuries and computer use, many people do not get enough exercise. This puts people at a higher risk of disease. The less people exercise, the less fit they become, which often leads to a downward spiral.
“Keeping our Piezo1s active through exercise can be crucial to our physical performance and health.”
Two groups of mice – a control group and a group whose Piezo1 levels had been disrupted for 10 weeks – were studied while walking, climbing and running on their balance bike.
The Piezo1-disordered mice showed a striking reduction in activity levels, suggesting that the protein plays an important role in maintaining normal physical activity.
The researchers speculated that the mice were simply less interested in exercise, but they found no differences in the amount or duration of activity between the two groups.
Instead, the mice simply walked more slowly, suggesting that their ability to move, rather than the desire to do so, had diminished. Just like me.
Supervising author Professor David Beech says: “Our work sheds new light on how the role of Piezo1 in blood vessels is related to physical activity.
“Our discovery also offers an opportunity to think about how loss of muscle function could be treated in new ways.
“If we activate Piezo1, it could help maintain physical performance.”
Pass the Piezo1 tablets.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/workouts-become-harder-you-break-26946503 "Training becomes harder when you break a good training habit because of the crucial protein" - Miriam Stoppard