Physically active women have longer telomeres

Your life line

If my article “Fitness benefits you won’t see on the scale” didn’t convince you to exercise, maybe this will. A new study shows that it can literally lengthen your life line. I don’t mean the line on your hand that palm readers look at. But the real, scientific way of determining how long you’ll live. And that involves your telomeres.

Telomeres are the very end-points on your genes. Researchers say that they are the key to aging. They get shorter every time a cell dies. And so does your lifespan.

So, clearly, the objective is to keep your telomeres in good shape. That’s what healthy living is all about.

Now, a group of researchers has determined just how critical exercise is for keeping your telomeres as long as possible. They looked at data gathered from more than 7,800 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, ranging in age from 43 to 70. Specifically, they analyzed the women’s physical activity and their telomere length.

Women who were physically active on a regular basis had longer telomeres.

Surprising? Maybe not. But it is one more reason to get moving.