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Can exercise make you decades younger? Here is what scientists have to say!

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When we see the signs of ageing like wrinkles, sagging skin and receding hairline, we find ourselves taking comfort in anti ageing creams, fad diets, so on and so forth. Some people even opt for expensive surgeries to look younger.

But what most of us fail to understand is that ageing is skin deep. If you want to look younger, you need to push yourself a little further since slathering anti ageing creams is not going to help you much.

According to one study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, some researchers found that muscles of some 70-year-olds were almost indistinguishable from the muscles of 25-year-olds. These seniors appeared to be biologically decades younger than their actual age. The trick was that these 70 years olds in the study were the active adults, who constantly engaged in exercises, especially cardio. The research was done by Ball State University researchers with three groups. The first one being active adults in their 70s who had been physically active for five or more decades. The second group was of healthy adults who led a sedentary lifestyle for decades and didn’t exercise much. The third group was that of active people in their mid-20s. While the researchers expected to see most robust and sturdy muscles in active 20-year-olds, followed by active 70-year-olds, researchers were shocked to see that the 70-year-olds had as robust muscles as active 20-year-olds. The seniors further were decades younger in their appearances as well.

Another study published in Preventive Medicine points to something very similar. It says that regular exercise can make our cells younger by nine years which is almost a decade. This study analysed data from over 5800 people and concluded that exercise works by preventing cellular ageing which corresponds to our biological age. It is measured by telomeres. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter and shorter. Is it when they get too short that the cell dies since it can no longer divide. This shortening process is associated with ageing. With age, telomeres get shorter. Exercise helps to preserve the telomere length and therefore slows down the ageing process. Scientists found that highly active people (women with 30 minutes of jogging per day and men with 40 mins, at least five days a week) had telomeres with an ageing advantage of almost 9 years.

These studies show that ageing can well be slowed down if not avoided. This gives you all the more reason to grab your running shoes and get started with the treadmill which you have been putting off for so long!

You may also want to check out HIIT Workouts scientifically proven to reverse ageing

For more workouts and fitness tips, check out our fitness section.

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