Nowadays, more people are joining the healthy lifestyle club through a balanced diet, less stress and more exercise, all of them being a key to a healthy and young body.

Our last two posts were related to the effects of diet and stress respectively on telomere length and consequently on our biological age. In this new post we would like to focus on another key aspect in longevity: exercise. Ok, but there are many types of exercises, which one has the greatest impact on telomeres?

The European Heart Journal has recently published a study which compares different types of exercise and their effects on telomere length. In this study, which was conducted in Leipzig (Germany), 164 healthy volunteers were grouped in four different categories -runners, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), weightlifting, control group- and worked out for 26 weeks. After that time, their blood was analyzed for telomerase activity (TA).

The results showed that the endurance exercise group presented higher telomerase activity rates, whereas the resistance exercise group did not. Furthermore, another study classified participants in two groups, namely runners and non-runners, and telomerase activity was analyzed after a 45-minute workout. The study showed higher telomerase activity rates again for the runner group, but not for the non-runner group.

Although a scientific explanation cannot be given yet, it is thought that such differences in TA occur as a result of the release of nitric oxide, which has been shown to increase TA.

Scientists plan to carry out further studies on the cellular effects of combining endurance training with strength training. But for now, we are certain that any kind of exercise will help our body to become telomerically healthier and younger. So…ready, set, go!