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DOES EXERCISE REALLY DELAY AGING and WHAT ARE “TELOMERE’S ANYWAY?”

Posted December 10, 2009 in Anti-Aging Medicine

Exercise is not always a fun activity and often it’s hard to find the time to do it on a regular, ongoing basis – believe me, I know. But I have really great news. We now have direct evidence of the anti-aging benefits of physical exercise. Recent research has proven that exercise does in fact have anti-aging effects at the cellular level, more specifically, on our telomere shortening mechanism which is regarded as our “biological clock.”

“WHAT’S A TELOMERE” YOU ASK…?
Telomeres are “caps” at the end of our chromosomes. These caps buffer against DNA damage which includes cell division, oxidation, inflammation, etc. Telomere dynamics serve as the index of our biological age. As we age, telomeres shorten, fray and degrade. When it becomes too short the cell dies. Exercise activates the critical telomerase enzyme which stabilizes the telomere. This slows down the shortening process, which lengthens the life of body cells, which lengthens our life and the quality of it. Yes, ladies & gentlemen! Exercise really could prevent cardiovascular aging!

RESULTS CONFIRMED – EXERCISE REALLY DOES WORK!
All this good news comes from a team of German scientists who studied professional runners (average age 20) and the effects of intense exercise over a given period of time; results were compared with middle-aged athletes (average age 51) and finally against same aged, untrained, healthy non-smoking athletes who did not exercise regularly. Guess what the results were… The fitness level of the trained athletes was superior. Clearly, age-related telomere loss was significantly lower in those endurance athletes, regardless of age. Ulrich Laufs, MD of Saarland University, Hamburg, Germany was the lead researcher in this study.

I’ve always believed in the virtues of physical activity and continue to practice what I preach to my patients by strongly encouraging everyone to get into a regular fitness program. I’ll be glad to discuss it with you and help you make good choices.

I appreciate the researchers who stayed by the bits and pieces to bring us this good news. There are more studies, with equal results, and which show that our bodies can act and look 10+ years younger than our actual age – if we will do the work!

Let me know how you’re doing in this area and what other questions you may have.

At Rejuvalife Vitality Institute, we work with you from the inside out!

Here’s to your longevity!

Dr. Berger

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