Could Exercise Make You 9 Years Younger?
Could exercise make you 9 years younger?
We know that eating well and exercising regularly can help keep us looking our best. But a new study has found that exercise actually makes you 9 years younger – and the cellular level. That means you don’t actually appear younger, you are younger!
Published in Preventive Medicine, the study from Brigham Young University found that people who consistently exercise at a high level have much longer telomeres (the protein within our chromosomes) than inactive people.
How does exercise make us younger?
Author Larry Tucker explained:
"Just because you're 40, doesn't mean you're 40 years old biologically," Tucker said. "We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies."
Let’s take a closer look at telomeres. These are found on the ends of chromosomes, and have a strong link with our age. As one report says, “each time a cell replicates, we lose a tiny bit of the endcaps. Therefore, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres.”
But it now seems that the more we engage in vigorous exercise, the longer our telomeres become. So a person who works out a lot, and at a high level, has a nine-year ageing advantage over a sedentary person - and a seven-year advantage over someone who works out moderately.
What is high physical activity?
Don’t worry. You don’t need to run up mountains or do a triathlon every week. Just 30 minutes of jogging a day for women (or 40 minutes for men), five days a week is enough to lengthen your telomeres – and age backwards. Not quite like Benjamin Button, but you get the idea!
Tucker said, "If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won't cut it. You have to work out regularly at high levels."
To us, that seems like a pretty good reason to slip into the sneakers and go pound the pavement.
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