Do we move less because we get older, or do we get older because we move less? Studies show that there is a definite connection between exercise and the aging process on a molecular level. As little as 100 minutes (less than two hours) of moderate exercise per week can make a difference.
What makes molecules age?
Telomeres are the caps on the end of the strings of our chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, the telomere erodes. When the telomeres on a cell are too short, it can no longer divide, and the cell dies, perhaps as part of the aging process. Some experiments seem to indicate that there is a connection between exercise, and the length of the telomeres. The more intensive the exercise, the more protection there is for the telomeres.
What kind of testing demonstrates this?
The testing took place with older and younger professional athletes, and with some untrained persons. Scientists noted that the older athletes' regular exercise activates an enzyme called telomerase, which helps keep the telomeres stable. The telomeres are then more steady, and can better protect the body cells. In older athletes, who had faithfully worked out for decades, the telomeres were the most stable.
Exercise has other benefits as well
Regular exercise helps regulate your appetite. People who exercise regularly have a lower pulse rate, and blood pressure. Exercise can even help alleviate certain kinds of depression. Don't you think you should start moving today?
Glenn will be at The Gathering, a group of local merchants, in Ocala on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Make plans now to attend the gathering, and chat with Glenn about your own personal fitness program.