How to be 10 years younger at a cellular level
Many aspects of your lifestyle can keep your cells younger, but the most important contribution is made by - did you guess? - exercise. That's right. A study showed that the most physically active people had cells which showed signs of being as much as 10 years younger. Exercise does that by keeping your cell's telomeres longer and healthy. What on earth are telomeres, you ask? They're like the plastic tips on shoelaces. They cap the ends of the chromosomes in all your cells. Every time a cell reproduces, the telomere gets a little shorter (mitosis). As the years go by eventually the cells can't regenerate properly. Shortened telomeres also leave your chromosomes vulnerable to many degenerative diseases such as cancer and inflammation. Regular, enjoyable exercise significantly slows the deterioration of your cell's telomeres. (1)
After inactivity or lack of exercise, chronic stress is the next important factor that speeds up the aging of your cells. Get this - The telomeres of people who say they feel more stressed are almost 50% shorter than those who say they're less stressed. Scientists estimated that the average telomere length for stressed people is a whopping 9 to 17 years shorter than those who are able to relax! This is why it's so important to manage stress. Familiarise with different meditation and relaxation techniques, find what suits you. Practice daily deep breathing. Discover how to live the life you love (and it's not about more money).
Here's the third most important thing you can do to keep your cells young - don't smoke.
1. Cherkas, L. F. et al.
The association between physical activity in leisure time and leukocyte telomere length.
Archives of Internal Medicine 28 January 2008. 168(2):154-158.