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HOW DO I STAY YOUNG? - TELOMERES: THE SECRET WEAPON TO ANTI-AGNING



Back in elementary school, I remember reading about the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, and his quest to find the Fountain of Youth. This mythical spring allegedly restored the youth of anyone who drank or bathed in its waters. Sounds pretty amazing, huh?


While it’s impossible to reverse the signs of aging, what if I told you that current research is proving that exercise – yes, dependable ol’ exercise - can actually slow down the aging process? By looking at our bodies at a cellular level, scientists have found that aerobic exercise helps with keeping our cells strong, increases its regenerative ability, and basically aids in a healthy aging process.


I know I’ve written several other posts touting the benefits of exercise, such as improved mental health (click here to read the full blog) or boosting energy. These are great results anyone can achieve by participating in a regular exercise routine. But to have actual proof that exercise can slow down the aging process is pretty incredible, at least in my mind. Let’s dig in a little further to understand the science behind this statement.


EXERCISE’S EFFECTS ON OUR CELLS


Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells, and in the nucleus of these cells you’ll find the DNA molecule packaged into thread-like structures called chromosomes. At the end of our chromosomes are distinctive structures called telomeres. Much like the plastic tip you find at the end of a shoelace, telomeres protect the ends of our chromosomes by forming a cap. Without the cap, your shoelace would become frayed until they can no longer do their job. The same goes for DNA strands; without telomeres, they become damaged, and our cells can no longer perform.