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  • The Importance of Exercise as we Age

    As we get older, our bodies age in a number of ways. Our hair thins and slowly losses its coloring. Our skin wrinkles and gradually loses elasticity. Our muscles lose strength. But, this is painting an overly grim picture. Aging gracefully is something we all want to accomplish. Exercise clearly combats some of the overt signs of aging, but did you know it may help our cells battle the aging process as well? According to new information published in the October issue of Medicine & Science, this may very well be true.

    Learning about Cells

    You might not remember a lot from your high school biology class, so we will help you brush up a little bit today. Your cells contain DNA strands, which inform how cells grow and reproduce. At the end of each DNA strand is a little biological cap called a telomere. These protect the structural integrity of the DNA. As cells age, telomeres start to deteriorate, shorten, and fray.

    What this Means for You

    Okay, so little microscopic telomeres attached to DNA inside our cells starts to frat as we age. So what does that mean for us? Well, we know it isn’t good. The deterioration of cells is linked to a wide range of health concerns. However, there is some good news! According to evidence, exercise may have a direct link to healthy telomeres. During a recent survey on health, individuals between the ages of 40-65 were questioned on their exercise habits after having their blood drawn.

    The results were conclusive. Individuals who exercised more often, had healthier telomeres. In fact, telomere health increased dramatically with exercise frequency. Activity was rated on a scale of 1-4. Adults who were graded with an activity level of 1, were 3 percent more likely to have healthier telomeres. Adults who were graded with an activity level of 4, were 59 percent more likely to have healthier telomeres.

    Take a walk or hit the exercise bike folks, it will help you feel better, and live longer.

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