Forget about doing weights and similar exercises. If you want to age better, you can choose resistance exercises such as running, swimming, cross-country skiing or cycling. This will help you grow better. A study published in the European Heart Journal found that this type of exercise slowed or even changed cell aging.
The study analyzed different types of exercise – aerobic training with an interval or high intensity or strength training – to check how the age of the cells in the human body.
Our DNA is organized into chromosomes in all cells of the body. At the end of each chromosome, there is a sequence of repetitive DNA, called telomeres, a kind of chromosomal stub and does not allow its ends to deteriorate. As we grow older, telomeres contract, and this is an important molecular mechanism associated with cell aging. The process of telomere shortening is regulated by several proteins. Among them is enzymatic telomerase, which is able to counteract the shortening process and may even increase the length of telomeres.
The researchers, led by Professor Ulrich Laufs of the University of Leipzig (Germany), recruited 266 young and healthy volunteers, although they were previously inactive, and assigned them at random to six months for various types of training or lifestyle without a change control group.
Researchers analyzed telomere length and telomerase in white blood cells, extracted from volunteers at the beginning of the study, and after six months.
The study determined the mechanism by which a certain type of exercise improves healthy aging. This can help develop future research on this topic, using telomere length as an indicator of “biological age” in future intervention studies, ”explains Professor Laufs.
One of the possible mechanisms that could explain why resistance and intense training increase telomere length and telomerase, is that these two types of exercise affect nitric oxide levels in blood vessels, which contributes to changes in cells.