Exercise slows the aging process

Washington Post:

Physically active people have cells that look younger on a molecular level than those of couch potatoes, according to new research that offers a fundamental new clue into how exercise may help stave off aging.

The study, involving more than 2,400 British twins, found for the first time that exercise appears to slow the shriveling of the protective tips on bundles of genes inside cells, perhaps keeping frailty at bay.

"These data suggest that the act of exercising may actually protect the body against the aging process," said Tim D. Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College in London who led the study, published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

...

Telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes, the structures that carry genes. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. When the telomeres get too short, the cell can no longer divide. Scientists believe that aging occurs as more and more cells reach the end of their telomeres and die -- muscles weaken, skin wrinkles, eyesight and hearing fade, organs fail, and thinking clouds.

...

It appears I need to pull my rowing machine out of storage and get to work on my telomeres caps. Rowing off a few years of aging is a worthwhile objective.

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