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Fitness and the mitochondria

by Fleur Borrelli, Nutritionist

How effective we are at exercising aerobically all depends on our mitochondria. Mitochondria are little sub-units, known as organelles, inside our cells. These are the power-houses of the cell, the engines, where make most of our ATP which is the body’s energy currency is generated. Apart from producing energy for us, they coordinate other actions such as becoming a skin cell or a muscle cell. They also manage cell death which needs to occur in a way that does not cause collateral damage and can even be beneficial to us.

Our mitochondria are so vital to health that we need to treat them well. They are semi-autonomous and reproduce independently of the cells they live in a way that is very similar to a bug. In fact microbiologists believe that at the beginning of time they might have lived freely as bacteria, until they took up resident in larger cells. They even have their own DNA to produce proteins which help our cells to work.

When we engage i…