Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Boys with rulers

Racing Mark Spitz, Outdoor photo exhibition, Madrid, Spain, May 2002,
Sony Cybershot, Focal length 10.4mm, Exposure 1/250 sec @ f6.3, ISO 100, no flash
© Steven Crisp  [Click on the photo to enlarge]
So, how long is your telomere?  Would you like to see how it compares to the next guy?  I kinda thought so ;-)

Well, I just came across this interesting article on how exercising keeps your cells young.  And by extension, will keep you feeling and looking quite a bit younger than your sedentary counterpart.

Of course we pretty much assumed that to be true, but this study actually measured the length of four groups' telomeres (young/sedentary, young/active, old/sedentary, old/active).  

As they say, "youth is wasted on the young", and that was reinforced here where there was no real difference in cell age (i.e., telomere length) between the younger groups. But for the older groups, the sedentary folks saw their poor telomeres shrivel up by 40%, while those active seniors had only lost about 10% length.  That's a 75% difference based on your level of activity.

So go ahead, jump in the pool like Mark Spitz (does anyone remember his "gold medal" poster?  Yeah, yeah, I heard something about a kid named Phelps, but look, Spitz kept his mustache ;-)

Or maybe take up running.  Or biking.  Or nordic skiing (great exercise when its cold and snowy outside).  Just get out there on a regular basis and exercise vigorously.  It may be the closest thing there is to the fountain of youth.

1 comment:

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