Monday, February 22, 2010

Active Lifestyles and Slow Aging

Health researchers from King’s College in London have just concluded a study that suggests people who are physically active in their free time may be biologically younger than their less active peers. The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, January 28 th, 2008.

The researchers looked at the physical activity levels, smoking habits and socioeconomic status of 2,401 study participants. The researchers also collected DNA samples from participants and examined certain DNA characteristics that change as part of the aging process and therefore may serve as a marker of a person's biological age. Overall, the study participants had changes to the DNA characteristics that come with aging, but those who were more active in their leisure time showed less of a change.

"A sedentary lifestyle increases the propensity to aging-related diseases and premature death. Inactivity may diminish life expectancy not only by predisposing to aging-related diseases, but also because it may influence the aging process itself," study author Lynn F. Cherkas, of King's College London, said in a prepared statement.

"The U.S. guidelines recommend that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week can have significant health benefits," the researchers wrote. "Our results underscore the vital importance of these guidelines. They show that adults who partake in regular physical activity are biologically younger than sedentary individuals. This conclusion provides a powerful message that could be used by clinicians to promote the potential anti-aging effect of regular exercise."

Walking for 30 minutes a day is the easiest way to add more physical activity to your life. If you’ve been inactive lately, start off slowly with 5 minutes a day, and then gradually build up to 10 minutes, 15 minutes and on to 30 minutes. You’ll have more energy, you’ll feel better, you’ll sleep better and you’ll live longer. Add 5 servings of fruits and vegetables to your new active lifestyle and you’ll feel better than you have in years.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

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