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Will exercise help you live long and stay lively?

by Margery Gass | Sep 14, 2012
Regular exercise after menopause can help you stay young and live longer. That’s because regular exercise keeps your telomeres long. Ever heard of them? They’re the end caps on chromosomes that get shorter and shorter with age. People—and animals—with longer telomeres look and act younger and live longer than those with shorter ones. You might have heard about telomeres when three scientists won a Nobel Prize in 2009 for their telomere discoveries. Or, you might have seen one of the PBS Scientific American Frontiers episodes with old gray-haired, slow-moving mice next to the sleek, brown, active ones that were really the same age but had longer telomeres. Now, a just-published telomere/exercise study in the NAMS journal Menopause shows you can take a sip from this fountain of youth with regular exercise, which helps keep telomeres long. The postmenopausal women in the study who exercised regularly not only had longer telomeres than women who didn’t exercise, they also had higher levels of adiponectin, which is known to be anti-inflammatory and to help put the brakes on type 2 diabetes and hardening of the arteries. So keep exercising and live long and healthy!

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