Be Biologically Younger with Exercise
Regular exercise can keep you genetically 10 years younger! While previous research has found that various kinds of exercise can slow aging by maintaining mental acuity, preserving aerobic capacity, and warding off bone/muscle loss, new research shows regular activity actually might help rejuvenate your DNA.
UK scientists chose identical twins as study subjects to minimize genetic variation, and thus better isolate differences in DNA aging due to lifestyle factors.The researchers compared the physical activity levels of over 1,200 twin pairs, between ages 18 and 81, with their cellular markers for DNA age.After adjusting for confounding factors such as smoking habits and body mass index (BMI), the results were unequivocal: Those twins who exercised the least had DNA that measured ten years older than those who exercised the most (45 minutes/day).
Vigorous aerobic exercise also naturally boosts human growth hormones -- buffering the various, less-welcome consequences of age-related hormonal changes, such as thinning skin and expanding fat tissue.Exercise is of course one of the best bulwarks against obesity -- which can accelerate aging even more than cigarettes.Obesity's aging effects include increased dementia risk.
Of course, exercise is just half of the anti-aging equation -- diet plays an enormous role as well."Eating nutrient-dense foods like fruit and vegetables helps reduce DNA damage," observes geneticist Dr.Bruce Ames.AGetting adequate vitamin B6 -- supplied abundantly by bananas, red bell peppers, fish, walnuts and Russet potatoes -- might help support DNA repair.Excessive alcohol intake, high-sugar junk food and meats cooked at high temperatures all accelerate aging.