Want to stay younger longer? Try sitting less and exercising more

Harold Mandel's picture
Young to old

Researchers say that sitting too much and getting too little exercise may actually accelerate biological aging.

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Man has been searching for ways to stay eternally young since he first roamed the planet. The next best thing to actually stopping the aging process, which seems impossible to do, is to slow down aging. Lifestyle factors seem to have a dramatic impact on how we age.

Sitting too much and getting too little exercise may actually speed up aging

University of California San Diego report sitting too much and getting too little exercise may actually speed up aging. The researchers say elderly women who sit for greater than 10 hours daily and who do not get a lot of physical activity have cells in their bodies which are eight years older biologically in comparison to women who are not as sedentary.

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In this study it was found that elderly women who get less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily and who stay sedentary for greater than 10 hours daily have shorter telomeres, which are very small caps found on the ends of DNA strands. Telomeres protect chromosomes from being deteriorated and they progressively shorten with aging.

Health and lifestyle factors, such as being obese and smoking, may accelerate the shortening and fray of telomeres as a cell ages. There is an association between shortened telomeres and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and major cancers.

Aladdin Shadyab, PhD, who was the lead author of the study and who is with the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, says this study has showed that human cells age faster when a person has a sedentary lifestyle. The chronological age of a person doesn't always match the person's biological age.

Even as we age physical activity should continue to be a significant part of our daily lives

Dr. Shadyab said it was observed that women who sat longer for longer times did not have shorter telomere length if they found at least 30 minutes daily to exercise. It is his belief that we should begin discussing the benefits of exercise when we are still young. Than even as we age physical activity should continue to be a significant part of our daily lives.

This study has been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers have found avoiding a lifestyle which is extremely inactive may offer health benefits at the cellular level. It's an interesting finding that leading an active lifestyle may actually help you stay younger longer.

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