A recent study demonstrated that short periods of exercise protected the chromosomal caps, called telomeres, against stress-induced damage. Researchers believe that the length and health of the telomeres – which are pieces of DNA at the end of each chromosome – is linked to cellular aging (1).
Sixty-three women were divided into two groups. One group exercised vigorously for 33 minutes a day and the other group was sedentary. Units of stress were measured by a 10 unit perceived exertion scale. In the sedentary group, just one unit of stress increased the risk of damaging telomeres 15 fold. The same amount of stress didn’t affect the exercise group.
Elissa Epel, PhD, who performed the study stated that, “even a moderate amount of vigorous exercise appears to provide a critical amount of protection to the telomeres.”
This research is consistent with the findings I reported on in a couple of recent video-newsletters, linked below. In these reports, I review some of the other amazing benefits of short, high-intensity exercise that can be done in just 12 minutes a day!
When you reach a point in your life where you just want to live long and healthy, and the thought of breaking any speed records are behind you, consider this less is more and way more fun approach to exercise. Your chromosomes will thank you!