Exercise and Physical Ability are Associated with Longer Telomeres

2018-08-06T10:18:13+00:00November 14th, 2011|Healthy Aging, Telomeres, Vitality + Well-Being|

Staying physically active leads to increased telomere length, according to study

It’s about that time to get up and do your workout. Despite your everyday stress, you just know you should do it. Think of the benefits to your cardiovascular system, the endorphin-stimulated “rush” you feel during and after the workout, and finally, the slimming effect on your waistline. Now, you can add an anti-aging effect on telomeres.

As anyone taking Isagenix Product B knows, telomere support is a key component towards slowing down the age clock. Telomeres, those complex DNA structures at the tips of our chromosomes, shorten with age normally; however, this shortening and aging is accelerated by many lifestyle factors: obesity, toxins, oxidative stress, psychological stress, and poor nutrition. This is why Isagenix has developed a variety of products, our Pillars of Health (Cleanse for Life, IsaLean Shake, Ionix Supreme, Ageless Essentials Daily Pak with Product B), to target each of these age-accelerating factors.

To that list of age-defying pillars, don’t forget to add physical activity. In a new paper published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development, researchers from Denmark have provided evidence that an increase in physical ability was positively associated with longer telomeres. In fact, they even calculated how many years increased physical ability could contribute to longer lifespans.

The researchers examined the relationship between telomere length and physical ability in 548 same-sex twins as part of an ongoing, long-term study in elderly Danish twins. The twins, averaging an age of 79 years and 67 percent of them female, had leukocyte (white blood cell) telomere length measured and were provided with questionnaires to determine both their physical ability and activity levels. Questions asked to determine physical ability included: “Can you walk up two flights of stairs?” “Can you run 100 meters?” “Can you carry 5 kg?” The study subjects answered the questions on a scale of one to four; one being that the activity could be completed without fatigue and four being the activity could not be completed. Activity levels ranged from zero to four; zero being no exercise and four being frequent, high intensity exercise.

According to the authors, there was a strong correlation between physical activity and physical ability.  The data revealed a strong, positive relationship between telomere length and physical ability, which interestingly was much stronger for females than males. The authors also noted that in this particular study, unlike previous studies, no association was found between cognitive function and leukocyte telomere length.

Using their data, the authors calculated that by increasing one’s physical ability score by one unit, telomere length increased to that of about three years prior. “Our findings are in line with the TL [telomere length]-longevity nexus in humans,” they noted, and concluded that, “Our study confirmed that physical activity correlated with both physical ability and [telomere length].”

So go on, put your workout outfit on, and lengthen those telomeres!

Reference: Bendix L et al. Leukocyte telomere length and physical ability among Danish Twins age 70+. Mech Ageing Dev. 2011 Oct 12. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2011.10.003