According to a new study, intense physical exercise can reduce aging at the cellular level by nine years, which means that adults who undergo regular work-outs have the tendency to live longer.
To arrive at this conclusion, a survey was conducted after a data analysis was carried out on more than 5,800 Americans.
The researchers found that people with consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than those who were moderately active or inactive.
Larry Tucker, a professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University in Utah, US, says telomeres are “protein endcaps of our chromosomes”. They shorten as humans age but exercise can reduce the shortening process, said Tucker.
“We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are the less biological ageing takes place in our bodies,” he said.
“If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological aging, it appears that a little exercise won’t cut it. You have to work out regularly at high levels.”
“We know that regular physical activity helps to reduce mortality and prolong life, and now we know part of that advantage may be due to the preservation of telomeres,” Tucker added.
The study was published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine.