Regular Exercise Cuts Cellular Aging by 9 Years

News ID: 1405374 Service: Science
aging cells

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Despite their best efforts, no scientist has ever come close to stopping humans from aging. But a new research revealed that one may be able to slow a type of aging that happens inside the cells.

"Just because you're 40, doesn't mean you're 40 years old biologically," Exercise science professor Larry 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."

The study, published in the medical journal Preventive Medicine, finds that people who have consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than those who have sedentary lifestyles, as well as those who are moderately active.

Telomeres are the protein endcaps of our chromosomes. They are like our biological clock and are extremely correlated with age; each time a cell replicates, we lose a tiny bit of the endcaps. Therefore, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres.

Professor Tucker found adults with high physical activity levels have telomeres with a biological aging advantage of nine years over those who are sedentary, and a seven-year advantage compared to those who are moderately active. To be highly active, women had to engage in 30 minutes of jogging per day (40 minutes for men), five days a week.

"If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won't cut it," Tucker said. "You have to work out regularly at high levels."

"We know that regular physical activity helps to reduce mortality and prolong life, and now we know part of that advantage may be due to the preservation of telomeres," Tucker said.

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