There is much research going on to discover the process of aging. A recent study by German scientists studied men and women and the life span of their cells.
Some of the people were young and sedentary, some middle aged and sedentary and two groups were very active. One of the active groups were professional runners in their 20s – training about 45 miles a week. The other group were serious, middle-aged longtime runners (avg age 51) and average running of 50 miles/wk.
First thing the scientists noted was that the older runners looked much younger than their cohorts. And they found that the telomeres of the older and younger groups were the same size. Telomeres are the ends of DNA strands and as cells divide the telomere is snipped. Eventually, the telomere becomes too short and the cell dies. The length of a telomere is accepted by scientists as a reliable marker of the cell’s age.
When researchers measured the sedentary middle-aged groups telomeres, they found them to be 40% shorter than those of the sedentary young group.
Of course, many of us would not chose to run 50 miles a week. So the question is how much exercise does it take to keep the telomeres long and thus cellular life long? There is no exact answer to this; however, we do know that a sedentary lifestyle speeds up the death of cells. So the speculation is that any form of intense, regular exercise will improve ‘telomere biology’ or add youth to aging cells.
Give yourself a “bodylift” and start doing some intense cardio exercise every day.
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