I’m really excited about the findings of this new study in this July’s issue of Preventative Medicine. It proves that after all age is just a number, just because you are 40 or 50 doesn’t mean you are actually that age biologically. We certainly all know some people who naturally look much younger than they are.
You don’t even need to consume expensive herbs from a secret rain forest, but you have to be willing to do a lot of sweating. Our bodies are amazing and the fountain of youth lies right within in us, we just have to work for it.
High Intensity Exercise Reduces Aging of Our DNA
In this study, adults who regularly participated in high intensity exercise had reduced cellular aging by 9 years. What is really fascinating is those individuals who engaged in high activity still had 8.8 year increased cellular regeneration compared to the low activity group (1). So we need regular high intensity exercise in order to reduce the aging process, a little exercise is just not enough.
The study looked into the telomere length (part of our DNA) of 5,823 male and female adults and found that highly active adults had significantly longer telomeres (1). The participants had to engage in 30-40 minutes of high intensity workout like jogging for five days a week to be considered highly active.
We now see that high intensity activity preserves telomere length and reduces aging and disease. The shortest telomeres were found in adults having sedentary lifestyles. So the more we participate in high intensity workout, the younger we will be biologically.
What Are Telomeres
A telomere is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome, in which it protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration (2). We inherit telomeres from our parents and no matter the length of our telomeres at birth, everyone’s get shorter as we age (3,5). When telomeres get too short, our cells can no longer reproduce, which causes our tissues to degenerate and eventually die (3,4).
“There are parts of your DNA that you can actually alter naturally.”
This study proves that we can alter our DNA and have positive health outcomes. By participating in high intensity workouts we can reverse aging and improve the quality of our lives.
But it’s not just about youth, if our DNA is able to regenerate itself as if we were younger, our immune systems are stronger and we are better able to fight against disease and degenerative disorders. We become more resistant and we have more energy to enjoy life.
What is Considered High Intensity Workout
The most common way to calculate the intensity of a workout is by measuring your heart rate. But here is a quick way to see if your workout is sufficient. High Intensity workout will have you break a sweat after 3-5 minutes, your breathing is deep and rapid, and you can only talk in short phrases (6).
If you want to know more specifically what target heart rate is recommended for your age, click here for the Target Heart Rate Calculator.
1. Larry A. Tucker. Physical activity and telomere length in U.S. men and women: An NHANES investigation. Preventive Medicine, 2017; 100: 145 DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.04.027
2. http://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Telomere-What-are-Telomeres.aspx. Accessed May 25, 2017
3. Aubert G, Lansdorp PM. Telomeres and aging. Physiological Reviews. 2008;88:557–579.
4. Jaskelioff M, et al. Telomerase reactivation reverses tissue degeneration in aged telomerase-deficient mice. Nature. 2011;469:102-107.
5. Eisenberg DTA. An evolutionary review of human telomere biology: the thrifty telomere hypothesis and notes on potential adaptive paternal effects. American Journal of Human Biology. 2011;23:149–167.
6. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=20971. Accessed May 25, 2017.