You don’t need to find the fountain of youth to stay looking and feeling your best at any age. More and more research shows that it’s not serums, eye creams or superfood rituals that slow your body’s natural aging process — the key to vitality is exercise! We already knew the countless positive effects exercise has on preventing heart disease and strokes; but recent studies show it also appears to slow the progression of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, which typically worsen with age.
As if this weren’t enough reason to get your body moving, cutting-edge research suggests that there are even more positive changes that take place inside your body while exercising — that go all the way to a cellular level! Telomeres, the protein caps on the ends of human chromosomes, are markers of aging and overall health. Telomeres shorten with age — but studies show that in some people, these telomeres shrink faster than in others. Larry Tucker, professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University and author of one such study, says, “We know that, in general, people with shorter telomeres die sooner and are more likely to develop many of our chronic diseases.” Physical activity has been found to form a protective coating (called NRF1) around telomeres — essentially slowing the aging of your cells (and you). Experts have found that NRF1 can begin to form within as little as 20 minutes of exercise.
Moral of the story: getting physically active can go a long way toward keeping you young physically, mentally and even cellularly. So get up and moving, even on your laziest days… like your youthfulness depends on it!