Your smarter New Years Resolution – Dr Paul Biegler


It’s long been accepted that your biological age can be quite different to your chronological age, based on a range of environmental factors. Now Australian scientists are determining the specific impact that exercise plays in making us age better, and the findings are already changing expectations.
Like many people, you’re no doubt contemplating a New Year’s resolution (or two) right now. In the vast majority of cases, people want to get fitter and age better. With thanks to this latest scientific research, you have a much smarter pathway to achieving those goals.
In a special feature for leading science publication COSMOS, doctor turned science journalist Paul Biegler talks to the researchers who will ultimately reshape our understanding of exercise and its benefits.
Involving experts from exercise geneticists to leading cardiologists, the groundbreaking research is helping us to understand how our muscles can work at their optimum, and be programmed, depending on age and exercise regimes.
Some Australians have even donated small pieces of their own thigh muscles to be analysed as part of the program, and lab mice are churning out 15-kilometres on the treadmill at night.
Indeed, as part of the report, Dr Biegler shares a bike ride with a 72-year-old retiree who has recently completed her 19th Ironman race in just the past decade, while recovering from and dealing with other significant health issues.
The report explains how science is better understanding that it’s ‘never too late’, with muscle retaining its ability to adapt to exercise. It’s just that now, thanks to this benchmark Australian research, we are learning the key reasons why.

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Listen to the podcast here.

Dr Paul Biegler
School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies

Dr Paul Biegler is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Monash Bioethics Centre. Most recently, he was Postdoctoral Fellow and Lead Investigator on the Australian Research Council Discovery Project ‘Implicit persuasion in pharmaceutical marketing: ethical implications for regulators and consumers’. Paul’s earlier research focused on end-of-life decision-making in healthcare, in particular, the ethics of advance directives, competence assessment and Do-Not-Resuscitate orders.

His doctorate examined the moral distinctions between pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of depression. It formed the basis for his book, The ethical treatment of depression: autonomy through psychotherapy (MIT Press 2011) which won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics. Paul was also the recipient of the 2012 Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Prize.

His research interests include neuroethics, medical ethics, philosophical psychology, philosophy of emotion and the role of emotion in decision-making. Paul practised clinical medicine for 20 years, the last decade as a specialist in emergency medicine.

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