Although there may not be a such thing as a fountain of youth like in Tuck Everlasting, there is something in our cells that can and does determine how old, or young, we are biologically. A recent study from Brigham Young University discovered that our level of physical activity has a direct affect on the length of our telomeres. In case you’re wondering, telomeres are the caps at the end of our DNA strands that protect our chromosomes and affects how our cells age. Over the course of our lives, cells replenish themselves by replicating. As a result, our telomeres get shorter; therefore, determining how old our cells or we are biologically.
Brigham Young University’s Exercise Science professor, Larry Tucker, found that individuals who consistently participated in high levels of exercise slowed down their biological time clock by at least 9 years from those who chose to be sedentary, and by at least 7 years from those who participated in moderate levels of physical activity.
“If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won’t cut it,” Tucker told Science Daily. “You have to workout regularly at high levels.”
In fact, Tucker suggests that women should participate in at least 150 minutes of intense exercise each week while men should do at least 140 minutes of intense exercise each week inorder to have a real effect on the length of our telomeres and age of our cells.
Although it’s still not exactly known how exercise preserves telomeres, other studies have found that the length of our telomeres are influenced by stress and inflammation which are two factors that have been shown to be nearly suppressed over time with exercise.
If you’re interested in learning what your biological age is, check out the video below. And, then check out Teloyears.com.