There’s no question that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but there remains a lot to discover about the ways physical activity positively influences the human body. A new study has delved into the mechanics of muscle maintenance, finding that even short stints on a bike can boost the activity of the “death marker protein,” which clears out damage to keep things healthy and in working order.
The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Sydney and zeroes in on the role of a protein called ubiquitin. Previous research has highlighted the important role this protein plays as a type of “cellular vacuum cleaner,” tagging defective proteins for destruction so they can be replaced with fresh versions that function properly.
Studies have shown how exercise and fasting can supercharge this process, and the authors of the new study have uncovered new evidence of how even short spurts of physical activity can have an impact in this regard.
The team performed blood tests and muscle biopsies to examine the behavior of ubiquitin in healthy males before, during and after a single session of high-intensity exercise. Through this, the team found that a single, tough session on an exercise bike for around 10 minutes can drive a significant increase in ubiquitin activity, which in turn intensified the removal of worn-out and damaged proteins.