Sunday, September 24th, 2017

To Add Years To Your Life You Need to Exercise – Here’s Why!

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WellbeingResize

Get Off the Couch!

Many people say time appears to be moving faster, and they feel older than they are.

They complain about their knees, lower back, feet and energy levels when they are overweight.

They say their bodily ailments are a constant reminder of their age!


Many studies have proven a commonly held belief – to add years to your life you need to exercise!

For example, researchers at the King’s College in London measured the length of telomeres – the DNA cap at the end of your chromosomes – in 2401 twins. These ‘DNA bookends’ shorten each time your cells divide. When they become too short, the cell cannot reproduce, making you frail and aged.

If you don’t exercise enough in your spare time, you are likely to have shorter telomeres and overall, your biology is a decade older than people who are active!

Not getting enough activity shortens telomeres regardless of whether you smoke, are overweight, or already have a chronic disease. This adds support to the ‘fit but fat’ rule in health promotion – more activity improves your health regardless of how much you weigh and your other health behaviours!

So, the moral of the story is – better to be fit and fat, then slim and not fit!

But some may say, I get my exercise at work!

Many people justify not doing regular exercise because they think they get enough exercise or activity at work – lifting, walking, carrying etc. But unfortunately, slogging away in manual jobs tends to shorten telomeres because of work-related psychological stress. The results show that exercise alleviates stress and benefits your DNA only if you do it as part of your leisure.

But it’s in my genes some may say, not because I exercise!

Twins share both their genes and environment. The research at King’s College in London was able to show that twins who did more exercise had significantly longer telomeres than their twin who did less exercise, throwing the ‘it’s in my genes’ theory out the window.

Regardless of your genetic background, your health is in your hands!

Getting active is the key

What we do know is that exercise can slow down the shortening of your telomeres, even if you’ve been a couch potato in the past. These days, we spend loads of money on dietary supplements and meal replacements in the hope of losing weight and slowing down the ageing process. This research shows that the easiest way is to get out for a walk and do your mind, body, and spirit a favour for life!

“The U.S. guidelines recommend that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week can have significant health benefits,” the authors write. “Our results underscore the vital importance of these guidelines. They show that adults who partake in regular physical activity are biologically younger than sedentary individuals. This conclusion provides a powerful message that could be used by clinicians to promote the potential anti-aging effect of regular exercise.”

Ref: Tim Spector et al, Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[2]:154-158.

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Comments

2 Responses to “To Add Years To Your Life You Need to Exercise – Here’s Why!”
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