The secret to forever being young has finally been revealed. Surprisingly it’s not unattainable, not expensive, not magical and it’s not even a new injectable youth serum from Korea. As a matter of fact, it’s free and available for anyone who wants it. Drumroll!! The secret is sweating as much as you can by simply burning calories with exercise. Before you sigh in exasperation, let us look into research that has proved exercise to be the key to youth.
European Heart Journal Research
According to research published in the European Heart Journal, some forms of exercise can be used as an excellent tool for anti-aging.
About 266 young, healthy people took part in the study. All of these participants led a sedentary lifestyle with little to no physical activity. The participants were then further divided into four groups. Each group had a different level of physical activity and a unique type of exercises assigned.
Methodology: Specific exercise plans for each group
Among the four groups, three were assigned with active exercise plans done in 45-minute periods for three days a week. The three groups had an endurance-training group, a High-intensity interval training (HIIT) group, and a circuit-based weightlifting group. The fourth group had no physical activity planned and were assigned as a sedentary control group.
The participants were examined after completion of the exercises for a duration of 6 months. Researchers then observed the lengths of each participant’s telomeres. Telomeres are the caps found at the ends of all chromosomes. Their main function is to protect DNA from wear and tear. Along with the length of the telomeres, the study also examined the functionality of telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme that is crucial in the replacement of lost telomeres.
Findings of the research
The study had an astounding discovery in the endurance and HIIT training groups. These groups had a significant increase in the lengths of telomeres as well as increased functioning of the telomerase enzyme. In the group that performed resistance training, no benefits were found in telomere length or telomerase activity.
With increasing age, the telomeres shorten and the telomerase enzyme functions deteriorate as a part of the natural aging process.
According to Christian Werner, Ph.D., of Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, this deterioration in telomere length and telomerase activity makes cells more susceptible to easy injury and damage. Thus slowing this deleterious process by exercise can be highly beneficial. Werner has stated, “Shortened and damaged telomeres signal to the cell to halt growth and multiplication and to become senescent. This is an important hallmark of aging in the cells.”
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that longer telomeres correlate to a younger age. Researches indicate that stronger telomeres will help aging be a more graceful process, as it improves overall health with stronger cardiac and muscular function. Stress and inflammation are the major predilections in age-related conditions. Stronger the telomeres, better is the cell’s ability to resist any external stress and inflammatory processes.