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High Intensity Workouts Slow Down Aging: Study

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Immortality may not be something any of us want, but when it comes to aging slowly – that’s another matter altogether. Sadly, the only creatures able to regenerate new cells at whim are not humans. However, there are things that we as humans can do to slow down aging. That’s what a team of scientists at Brigham Young University found out.

The discovery is somewhat not surprising in a way. Age may be defined by a number, but our cells don’t age the same way. Everybody knows that a healthy lifestyle is good for you – and your cells age slower that way. In the study, they discovered just what type of ‘healthy’ lifestyle slows down aging.

It’s exercise.

OK, no surprise there. But the key is not just any exercise: specifically high-intensity exercise like 30-40 minutes of jogging 5 days per week kind of exercise. This appears to keep your cells 9 years younger apparently.

The study took data of nearly 6,000 adults that took part in national health and nutrition survey. The ‘aging’ in the study is done by measuring the cells’ telomeres (the protein hats that sit at each end of our chromosomes). When a cell replicates, the cells shorten – so the more they shrink, the more we age.

The team found that cells with the shortest telomeres came from those with a sedentary lifestyle, while those who were intensely active had the reverse. No surprise there.

But, the key physical activity does make a difference – only high intensity exercises worked. The team found no significant differences in telomere length between those with low-to-moderate intensity exercise and couch potatoes. Ouch.

Bottom line is – to age slowly, you’ll have to really sweat for it.

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