Millennia ago, the Ancient Greeks realized that human beings need regular exercise to maintain a sound mind in a sound body (mens sana in corpore sano). In modern times, there is growing amount of evidence that being physically active not only affects how we age, but also makes it less likely to develop a variety of diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke. In short, older people who exercise typically are generally healthier, and more fit.
A study, which was published in November in the European Heart Journal, tested which type of exercise — aerobic versus resistance training — would most affect telomeres. Telomeres are attached to the ends of chromosomes and are known to protect our genetic data, making it possible for cells to divide, and are believed to hold some secrets as to how we age.
For this six-month study, researchers recruited 124 middle-aged men and women who were healthy but did not exercise. After the six months, blood was drawn from each participant, and the results were telling: the men and women who had jogged or completed interval training had not only longer telomeres in their white blood cells now than at the start of the study, but also had more telomerase activity. While those who were in the weight training group did not.
These outcomes would appear to point out that train wants to be aerobically taxing to prolong telomeres and gradual cellular-level getting older, says Dr. Christian Werner, a heart specialist and researcher at the University of Saarland in Germany, who led the new research.
But the findings don’t point out that weight coaching doesn’t fight getting older, he says. Like the different exercises, it improved individuals’s health, he says, which is one in all the most vital indicators of longevity. Overall, he says, the outcomes underscore that differing forms of train nearly actually lead to probably synergistic impacts on our cells and bodily techniques.
For now, the message of the new research, he says, is that train of any form could change the nature of getting older, even for individuals who already are middle-aged. “It is not too late,” he says, “to keep your cells young.”
As always, please use common sense and consult with your primary care physician before beginning any new exercise regimen—especially if vigorous physical activity is currently not a part of your daily routine.