A recent study conducted by the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young University found that those who participate in more active lifestyles actually have younger cells than those who are inactive. Of those involved in this study over the course of several years, the individuals who exercised regularly seemed to have again markers nine years younger than the rest; yet another reason to make fitness a priority in one’s life.
The study focused on the participants’ telomeres, which are crucial markers in the body’s cells that control their aging processes. Because of the obvious importance of DNA’s role in the human body, telomeres are vital to health. As a person ages, his or her telomeres begin to shrink or deteriorate. That process can be faster or slower in others. When they reach a certain point in which they can no longer protect their respective strand of DNA, that cell loses function, and can lead to a number of health complications. Researchers found that individuals who exercised had considerably longer telomeres than those who did not.
In order to truly experience the benefits of exercise, it is recommended that an average adult exercise two to three times a week, and receive at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Though this is considered a moderate amount of exercise, it is still beneficial in terms of one’s health. However, the study conducted notes that the most drastically improved telomeres were in those who performed more extreme levels of physical activity, which includes either more physically demanding exercises, or exercising for longer periods of time.
The preservation of health is an extremely important aspect in life, and the results of this study have seemed to proven yet another crucial benefit that comes with exercise and physical activity. Many health professionals believe that there is a connection between telomere length and inflammation and oxidative stress, and the knowledge that exercise relieves both of these is factual. While it may not be guaranteed that longer telomeres always translate to a healthier individual, the study provides insight to another reason why exercise has proven time and time again that it can greatly improve our health as human beings.