Physical activity in midlife and telomere length measured in old age

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal:
Experimental Gerontology

Size of study:
782 men

In this study, researchers established baseline telomere measurements as well as collected information about subjects’ activity levels. They were then categorized into 3 levels of physical activity – low, medium and high.  29 years later, the subjects’ telomere lengths were tested again. Over the span of the 29 years of this study, moderate physical activity was associated with longer telomeres while low and high physical activity was associated with shorter telomeres.

Link to study


5 comments on “Physical activity in midlife and telomere length measured in old age

  • Why don’t you print the full source of your reported stories? I want to read more, and it would be good to read the whole article and see why they think the very active did not do well. Also, write another sentence why YOU think the high exercise group did not fare so well in the measurements.

    • Hi John – Sometimes we are able to provide a full text of the article but at other times, the journal restricts access to abstract only. However, the rest of the paper would not likely answer your questions as to why the extreme exercise group did not have the longest telomeres. Scientific papers generally stick to what was measured and the results of the analysis. As all exercise leads to some degree of oxidative stress (which shortens telomeres), it has been conjectured that extreme exercise generates a level of oxidative stress that can overwhelm the body’s capacity to neutralize it with antioxidants. However, at this stage, this argument is ONLY a hypothesis.

  • This hypothesis can most easily be proven by doing an extensive amount of telomere testing on amateur and professional bodybuilders, these folks are readily available every where and very willing to experiment

  • I have been an elite wrestler form age10 to 21 National greco roman champion 3 time jr high school champion,high school state champion,full scholarship to college at Cal Poly S.L.O div 1 trained and elite level all my life. Since graduating college 1982 I have owned several health clubs and trained over a 1,000 clients. I learned early on that nutrition and flexibility were the keys to a healthy and vibriant future. I have been a whole food plant based mind,body, spirit approach. Balanced life with proper rest,nutrition,strength,flexibility, I would like to talk with the Telo years as one of my clients i have trained for years just had his done and he is 58 and his came back at age 22, He said mine should be 18. Train consistently,meditate and do breathing exercises,always leave something on the table,Know your body and cherish your temple as were only here for a short time. Make the most of it!I’m available for consulting,Get off medication for blood pressure,Cholesterol,diabetes etc through lifestyle changes!I will show you how to set your kitchen up to succeed!I have 40 yrs of helping people live better so they can do more things they love to do!This is not a dress rehearsal! Im very passionate about life and helping people live better!

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