Findings published in PLoS ONE demonstrate a protective effect for brief periods of exercise against stress-induced damage to telomeres: pieces of DNA that cap and protect the ends of chromosomes which play an important role in cellular aging.*
Elissa Epel, PhD and her associates evaluated the effect of exercise in 63 women with varying levels of stress during the prior month as assessed via the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale. The women were divided into an active group, who engaged in vigorous exercise for an average of at least 33 minutes daily, and a sedentary group.
Among inactive women, a one-unit increase in the Perceived Stress Scale was related to a 15-fold greater risk of having short white blood cell telomeres, while stress did not appear to affect the active group. “Even a moderate amount of vigorous exercise appears to provide a critical amount of protection for the telomeres,” stated Dr. Epel.
Editor’s note: Longer telomeres have also been associated with multivitamin supplementation and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.