Exercise Can Prevent Aging

A study just determined that long-term physical activity has an anti-aging effect at the cellular level. The Journal of the American Heart Association just put into circulation the findings of a study  that was funded by the German Research Association & the University of Saarland.

The highlights of the study are:

  • Long term physical activity has an anti-aging effect on the cells, meaning that exercise might prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system.
  • Two groups of professional athletes were compared to a group who were non-athletes. The long term  professional athlete’s cells indicated that there were molecular differences that can lead to reduced aging.

The researchers were looking at the  length of the telomeres. The telomeres are the DNA that bookends the chromosomes and protects them from damage. When the telomeres are shortening it limits the number of cell divisions which can effect your biological clock.  Shortening of the telomeres from cell division leads to aging on a cellular level and could shorten life.

Ulrich Laufs, M.D., the study’s lead author and professor of clinical and experimental medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at Saarland University in Homburg, Germany said,“The most significant finding of this study is that physical exercise of the professional athletes leads to activation of the important enzyme telomerase and stabilizes the telomere,” He also states, “This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system, reflecting this molecular principle.”

In other words, the long and hard lifetime training of the professional athletes  (up to 50 miles of running per week ) keeps the telomere longer and prevents them from dying off. I have always felt that exercise prolongs life but it’s so hard to prove. This study provides some evidence that long hard training can prolong life but you would have to run 50 miles per week for a life time to get the cellular effect. Is that realistic?

I would like to ask my readers this: If you were guaranteed to live longer, but you had to run 50 miles per week, would you do it?

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Best- Mike Cola

Demystifying Health

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About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York. Connect with Mike @ Google+

4 Responses to “Exercise Can Prevent Aging”

  1. Hi Mike! I am having a little trouble with alcohol consumption. How much alcohol can I consume daily without negatively affecting my health? Thanks!~ keep up the excellent work.

  2. Alcohol consumption is one of these gray areas. There is a lot of research that states one or two glasses of red wine a day is good for you. But you can reach a point of diminishing health returns quickly with alcohol consumption. We all know how easy it is to drink a whole bottle of wine or drink three or four beers in an evening.

    Don’t have more then one or two drinks a day on a regular basis and if you do drink, stick to drinks that are low in calories.

    Thanks for the comment Bob.

  3. Practically speaking, I would have to say no. I understand that exercise is very substantial to our body and I always try to find time to dedicate myself to it. But given the busy schedule I have, I don’t think I can do 50 miles every week.

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