It’s official. Science has officially proven that working out does, in fact, keep our bodies (us) young. How does this magic happen? It turns out that just by partaking in physical activity, any physical activity, we’re keeping our bodies young on a cellular level. That makes us feel younger.

According to a landmark study in Preventative Medicine, our biological age markers that indicate high levels of physical activity appear to be a whopping nine years younger than those who lead sedentary lives! Say, what?

It’s true. After studying nearly six thousand adults over a prolonged period of time, researchers looked at the way exercise affects the telomere length. Telomeres are proteins that cap the ends of our chromosomes. They are markers of our aging overall and can tell us a lot about how and under what conditions our bodies/cells might begin to age. The results indicate that people with shorter telomeres tend to have shorter lives and those with longer ones live longer and develop fewer chronic diseases.

“After studying nearly six thousand adults over a prolonged period of time, researchers looked at the way exercise affects the telomere length.”

What does this mean for us and how can we improve our own telomere numbers?
It means that we should get regular exercise. Regular not strenuous, although that works for some. Regular exercise is at least sixty minutes of sustained exercise three to five times per week. If you’re into top tier exercises, those who get the recommended amount of exercise, your results will be more favorable. Moderate exercises see the most benefits as compared to those who don’t work out or don’t work out as often.

What can you do to help yourself? Start exercising. Even a little movement at a time is better than no movement at all. Start with a walk around the block and work up from there. If you sit at a desk all day for work, try working in sprints or setting a timer to remind yourself to get up and stretch your legs, go for a walk, or do a few squats. Every little bit helps. Over time, you’ll not only start to look better, but you’ll feel better, and your body will thank you for it.

Want to make it even better? Join a gym, an exercise class, or a running group. Set a regular schedule. Pencil it into your daily to-do list and make the time to get moderate exercise at least a few times a week. We’re talking breaking a sweat without going overboard. Make it intense enough to feel but not so intense that you won’t be able to feel your limbs afterward. Before you know what’s hit you, people will start to take notice of how great you look, how your energy levels have improved, and how clear and focused you are as a result of doing what’s right for your body? Along the way, you’ll begin to look and feel younger, and what can be better than that?

Try it for yourself. See what regular exercise can do for you and watch it add years—almost a decade—to your life.

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