Physical activity slows down ageing

Physical activity slows down ageing

Age is just a number. You must have heard that so many times. Although, this often refers to how you think and feel and look at life; a positive attitude helps you embrace life at any age making you feel young and vibrant. Now a new study has given us the biologically reason to get more positive about ageing- Physical activity slows down ageing.

Just because you are 40 years old does not mean you are biologically 40 years old, according to the researcher of this new study, which reveals that you may be able to slow one kind of ageing – the kind that happens in the cells of your body.

However, this comes at a considerable effort on your part – in the form of vigorous exercise and some sweating.

The study found the shortest telomeres in sedentary people. They had over 140 base pairs of DNA less at the end of their telomeres than those who were highly active.

A total of 5823 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2002) were studied cross-sectionally for this study. The researcher analysed data for 62 activities which participants may have engaged in over a 30 day period, to calculate the level of physical activity.

One of the indexes included in the data was telomere length values, which is significant for this study.

Telomeres are the protein endcaps of chromosomes and are highly correlated to our age, just like our biological clock. Each time a cell replicates, a small bit of the endcap is lost. Thus, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres.

The study found the shortest telomeres in sedentary people. They had over 140 base pairs of DNA less at the end of their telomeres than those who were highly active.

The findings also saw no difference in telomere length between those with low-to-moderate activity levels and sedentary people.

Highly active women (30 minutes of jogging per day) and men (40 minutes’ jogging per day) had telomeres with a biological ageing advantage of nine years over those who led a sedentary lifestyle and a seven-year advantage over those who were moderately active.

Although the exact mechanism of how exercise preserves telomeres is not known, previous studies have shown that telomere length is closely related to inflammation and oxidative stress, as exercise tends to suppress inflammation and stress over time.

Regular exercise has always been recommended for our health and wellbeing and is linked to prolonged life. Now, we know that this may be due to the preservation of telomeres – which we need to fight for by exerting effort through physical activity. The more physically active we are, the less biological ageing taking place in the body.

It’s time to put on your trainers and hit the streets for a spot of jogging!

Source: Preventive Medicine

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

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