Research from Brigham Young University suggests that a particular aerobic exercise plan may shave years off of your biological age.
The study analyzed a part of chromosomes called telomeres, or the end caps of chromosomes. These telomeres get shorter as your cells divide and you grow older, with a notable exception. Researchers found that people who performed high levels of physical activity had longer telomeres; in fact, biologically speaking, they were nine years younger than more sedentary people.
The Brigham Young University study found that people who ran 30 to 40 minutes at high intensity five days a week were consistently biologically younger than those who followed more moderate exercise programs, or who led sedentary lifestyles. "High intensity" exercise means you work up a sweat and have difficulty holding a conversation.
Not a runner? That's OK - you can substitute another aerobic exercise, such as:
Whatever you choose, it's important to do it consistently. To stay motivated, choose an activity you enjoy or that you can do with a friend. And make exercise a priority by setting aside time for it in your daily calendar.
Before you begin a new workout, it's important to do the following:
If you're more comfortable working out in a supervised environment, or just need somewhere to get moving on bad weather days, Franciscan Health offers fitness classes, weekly Walk with a Doc programs and certified medical fitness centers with weekly classes, access to personal trainers, childcare and much more.
Frequent aerobic exercise has benefits that extend beyond slowing the aging process. It can:
Exercise is a central part of creating a healthy lifestyle that can keep you feeling good and being active well into your senior years. Learn more about how our wellness programs can help you and your family stay as healthy as possible.