No doubt, some of you were breathing a sigh of relief about needing to spend less time at the gym to make a positive impact on your health after a recent study about high-intensity interval training found its way to this space. And the news just keeps getting better…
Short stints of exercise -- less than 45 minutes over three days -- may also serve as a way to slow down stress-related aging at the cellular level by stopping the shortening of telomeres, repetitive DNA that protects the ends of chromosomes from deteriorating.
Scientists discovered this latest benefit while monitoring the exercise habits of 62 post-menopausal women, most of whom were dealing with the stress of caring for family members suffering from dementia, a serious issue affecting caregivers. Exercise levels were measured and monitored as were patients' perceptions of stress, and blood samples were taken to measure telomere length.
Compared to the sedentary inactive group, patients who exercised vigorously for at least 75 minutes per week (meaning sweating and elevated heart rates) had longer telomeres. The one stinging caveat you'll want to avoid, however, if you're a caregiver: Patients who reported higher stress levels were less likely to exercise.
Just another reason for caregivers to take better care of themselves.
PLoS One, May 26, 2010 Free Full Text Study
ScienceDaily May 27, 2010