Why and How Can Exercise Slow the Aging Process?

Why and How Can Exercise Slow the Aging Process?

A Kitalys Institute webinar on why and how exercise can slow the aging process, featuring Drs. Daniel Lieberman (Harvard), Thomas Rando (Stanford), and Joan Mannick (Life Biosciences).

Throughout history, exercise has been touted as a key to good health. Emerging research suggests that in addition to its overall health benefits, exercise also confers a degree of geroprotection, shielding practitioners from the harmful effects of aging, and even rejuvenation, in some respects, of the effects of old age. Join Stanford geroscientist Tom Rando and Harvard evolutionary anthropologist Dan Lieberman in a panel/fireside chat on molecular mechanisms underlying the geroprotective benefits of exercise (the how) as well as an evolutionary framework to explain why (as posed in the subtitle of his recent book, Exercised) something we never evolved to do is healthy and rewarding.

About the Speakers:

Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, where he is also the Director of the Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging. He is the Chief of Neurology and Director of the Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of Excellence at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, as well as founding director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic at the Stanford Medical Center. Research in his laboratory focuses on tissue-specific stem cells in aging and disease, and on pathogenetic mechanisms and gene therapy for muscular dystrophies. His research on aging has demonstrated that it is possible to identify biochemical stimuli that can induce stem cells in old tissues to repair injuries as effectively as in young tissues, and this work has broad implications for the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cell transplantation.

Daniel Lieberman, PhD, is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard University, where he is the Edwin M Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Lieberman studies how and why the human body is the way it is, with a primary focus on the evolution of physical activity. His research combines paleontology, anatomy, physiology and experimental biomechanics in the lab and in the field. Most of his research has focused on the evolution of human locomotion including whether the first hominins were bipeds, why bipedalism evolved, the biomechanical challenges of pregnancy in females, how locomotion affects skeletal function and, most especially, the evolution of running. His 2004 paper with Dennis Bramble, “Endurance Running and the Evolution of the Genus Homo” proposed that humans evolved to run long distances to scavenge and hunt. His research on running in general, especially barefoot running, was popularized in Chris McDougall’s best-selling book Born to Run. Dr. Lieberman is an avid marathon runner, often barefoot, which has earned him the nickname “The Barefoot Professor”.

Joan Mannick, MD (Moderator), currently serves as Head of Research & Development at Life Biosciences, a leader in developing and commercializing science that extends the healthy human lifespan. Prior to this position, she was co-founder and CMO of resTORbio, a clinical stage biotechnology company that developed medicines that target the biology of aging to treat or prevent aging-related diseases and was recently acquired by Adicet Bio. Dr. Mannick also served as an Executive Director in the New Indications Discovery Unit of the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research. She received her BA from Harvard College and her MD from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mannick completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Infectious Disease fellowship as part of the Harvard Combined Infectious Disease Program. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.


  1. WM P on July 4, 2022 at 1:52 am

    Why was Jesus not around in evolution?

  2. Dave Oatway on July 4, 2022 at 1:53 am

    Excellent video! I found the dietary information unique and in line with my experience. I am a 77 yo man who feels better and am more active than I was 20 years ago. I walk 5 to 10 miles almost every day (sometimes 15 miles), and do body weight exercise daily. I tried some fasting but got concerned with the implications for nutrients, especially protein. So I eliminate sugar and processed carbs – almost eliminate but severely restrict – it’s not a religion! I also take NMN and Metformin. My main concern is balance. That has deteriorated. I am looking for methods to improve that. I have a girlfriend who shares our walks and bed. I do analytics for a large health care group, with some experimenting in artificial intelligence. Thank you for a very thoughtful presentation.

  3. john sumerlin on July 4, 2022 at 1:53 am

    I enjoyed your literature review in the context of evolution. Interestingly, there is no inclusion for LGBTQ in the evolutionary model yet this phenomena survives very robustly. I wish that some researcher would examine these ideas.

  4. WM P on July 4, 2022 at 1:56 am


  5. Betty Wilkinson on July 4, 2022 at 1:56 am

    Thank you. I am close to 80 and this inspires me to
    Improve my exercise. From what I read and a time perspective, I do more Strength exercises with bands & small weights. I’m glad to hear that metformin for longevity is correct and I have been taking it but not sure of the dose. Please offer more info for ages 70 to 80. I run a full time business and need to know the best results for time spent.

  6. Samuel Diaz on July 4, 2022 at 1:56 am

    If exercise is anti-aging why athletes don’t live longer than normal.

  7. Daniel Ryan on July 4, 2022 at 1:56 am

    Using heart monitoring can it be related to intensity. Is it worth heart monitoring make a difference by. Controlling the level o f intensity.

  8. Jimmy Carney on July 4, 2022 at 1:57 am

    I am almost 78 years old walk every day most times 2 miles every other days hit the gym bench press squat stay strong my friends to live long

  9. chai wong on July 4, 2022 at 1:57 am

    what does it mean by calorie restriction? it means calorie in > calorie out or calorie in < calorie? out

  10. Mike on July 4, 2022 at 1:59 am

    I walk three hours every other day. To the beach and back.

  11. WM P on July 4, 2022 at 1:59 am

    Your kidding right?

  12. WM P on July 4, 2022 at 2:18 am

    I get the minimum everyday and cook real foods, not that hard to figure it out

  13. Brenda Smith on July 4, 2022 at 2:25 am

    I turn 70 this year, I love to cycle and Mountain bike, ski, hike/ walk.

  14. Dino Miles on July 4, 2022 at 2:29 am

    All now proven JUNK science , except for fasting . Eyes,mind, heart and soul wide open .

  15. Daniel Ryan on July 4, 2022 at 2:31 am

    Does intensity make a difference. If one spends one hour walking at a higher intensity rate does it make a difference.

  16. Peter on July 4, 2022 at 2:40 am

    Excellent presentations and discussions.

  17. Evan Hodge on July 4, 2022 at 2:41 am

    The topic almost got attention. Go read "Body By Science" for actions that will HELP you!

  18. Aaliyah Lee on July 4, 2022 at 2:48 am

    I only know one product that my overall health can rely the most. It’s NMN by Vitruvin Health. Cost-effective! 😇