Can Exercise Combat Aging?
While it is a well-known maxim that eating healthily and taking part in physical activities are two of the best ways to maintain health, is it possible that sustaining a regular exercise routine could actually slow the aging process?
A recent study printed in ‘Circulation’, the journal of the American Heart Foundation, appears to indicate that regular exercise may well be at least one aspect of a fountain of youth.
Aging Protection in the Genes
Research conducted at Saarland University’s Department of Internal Medicine in Homburg, Germany determined that long-term exercise appeared to aid the retention of genetic protection against cell damage associated with age. The study compared the cells of professional athletes with those of healthy non-smoking individuals who did not indulge in regular exercise and found that the telomeres – an element of DNA that prevents age related damage to chromosomes – were better preserved in the bodies of the athletes.
Telomeres may be likened to bookends, which help a cell to retain its integrity during and after the ongoing process of cell division. As individuals age, their cells face a greater risk of damage from the sheer number of divisions performed over time. However, the telomeres are believed to perform in the same fashion as the hard plastic at the end of a shoelace, capping the cell at either end and preventing the unraveling effect of age.
Enzyme Key to Retention of Youth
As a result of the study, researchers concluded that the sustained exercise regime of the athletes had stimulated the production of a protective enzyme that helped to maintain the integrity of anti-aging DNA. The results bear out the long-held theory that physical exertion is one key to the maintenance of heart health. Indeed, the lead author of the study, Dr. Ulrich Laufs, noted that the evidence was proof of the youth-retaining possibilities of a continued exercise regime.
“This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system, reflecting this molecular principle. Our data improves the molecular understanding of the protective effects of exercise on the vessel wall and underlines the potency of physical training in reducing the impact of age-related disease.”
Steps to Prevent the Aging Process
Thus the message for those wishing to retain their youth would seem to be clear, and there are a number of proactive steps that may be taken to prevent the impact of aging on the body. Lifestyle choices are paramount for health, thus ensuring a balanced nutritional intake, perhaps augmented by the addition of a premium multivitamin supplement, antioxidant supplements and probiotics, in addition to a consistent exercise regimen, must be on the menu as well.
Starting and maintaining a regime of physical exertion can slow the aging process and reduce the risk of health issues and disease so often associated with the very fact of age itself. .
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