Lifestyle Science

High Intensity Exercise can Slow Down Ageing

Exercise is the worst.

Pretty much everyone agrees that exercise = good. Apart from the already known benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight, improving your mood and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, a recent study from the Brigham Young University has found that exercising regularly can also slow down ageing.

If, like me, you’re not big exercise (and is permanently confused by people who find the motivation to do so) this research will leave you  both envious and annoyed.

We agree, Chris Pine. Source.

Published in Preventative Medicine, the researchers discovered that although humans count age in laps around the sun (i.e. years), the cells in our bodies might not count time in the same way. By engaging in high intensity exercise, such as jogging for 30-40 minutes five days a week, it’s possible we could slow down how fast our cells age.

Sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Here’s the science to back it up.  The telomeres in our cells (the tiny little protein hats on the end of our chromosomes) are replicated repeatedly. It’s just general cell function that happens in our bodies every day.

However, when the cells get replicated their telomeres get gradually smaller with each replication – this is what causes us to age. The smaller they get, the older we look.

The team at Brigham Young found that adults with sedentary lifestyles showed the greatest signs of cellular ageing whereas the ones who were super active and went for runs all the time did not.

Guess what though -If you think that you can just run really hard for three days and do nothing on the other four, you’re wrong. They discovered that the high intensity exercise has to be consistent for the anti-ageing effect to potentially occur. There was no change between the sedentary and low intensity exercise level adults in the experiment.

TL;DR? Go for a jog (and yes, we mean a jog and not a walk) for 30-40 minutes five times a week to potentially slow down the ageing process.