Physically active people are biologically up to ten years younger
Many people are looking for ways and means to slow aging or even stop it altogether. Researchers have now found that the aging of human cells can actually be slowed down. To do this, people simply have to be physically very active.
In their investigation, scientists at Brigham Young University found that aging is slowed down in physically highly active people. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Physical activity slows down aging
Are there ways to age more slowly? So-called anti-aging creams unfortunately do not have this desired effect. However, if you are ready; exercising and sweating properly can actually stop the aging process. The more we do physical activity, the slower biological aging proceeds, the scientists explain.
Physically active people have longer telomeres
For example, if you're 40, it doesn't automatically mean that your biological age is 40, the researchers say. Everyone knows people who appear much younger than their current age. If people are consistently very physically active, those affected have considerably longer telomeres compared to people who have a very sedentary or moderately active lifestyle, the experts explain.
What are telomeres?
Telomeres are the protein end caps of our chromosomes. They are like our biological clock and correlate extremely with age. Every time a cell replicates, we lose a little bit of our telomeres, the doctors explain. In other words, the older we are, the shorter our telomeres are.
What does physically highly active mean?
According to the researchers, adults with a high level of physical activity have telomeres, which lead to an advantage in biological aging of around nine years compared to sedentary people. The advantage in biological aging is still seven years, compared to moderately active people, the authors add. In order to be classified as very active, women had to jog 30 minutes (men 40 minutes) a day and perform this activity five days a week, the scientists explain. If you want to find a real difference in the slowdown in biological aging, less physical activity is not enough, the scientists continue. To do this, you have to train regularly at a high level.
Doctors examine the data of almost 6,000 subjects
For their study, the experts examined the data from 5,823 adults who had participated in the CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This measured the length of the telomeres and the data for 62 activities that the participants had carried out over a period of 30 days. In the end, physical activity could be calculated, the authors explain.
Sedentary people have around 140 fewer DNA base pairs
In their study, the scientists found that sedentary people had the shortest telomeres. At the end of their telomeres, those affected showed 140 fewer DNA base pairs compared to highly active people. Surprisingly, there was no significant difference in telomere length between people with little or moderate physical activity and people with a very sedentary lifestyle.
How is the length of the telomeres affected?
Telomeres are affected by inflammation and oxidative stress. Previous studies have shown that the length of the telomeres is closely related to these two factors, the authors say. It is also known that physical activity can suppress inflammation and oxidative stress. "We know that regular physical activity helps reduce mortality and prolong life," the researchers report. Some of these advantages appear to be due to the maintenance of the length of the telomeres, the study authors add. (as)