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Exercise the key to looking and feeling young

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Body

Americans spend billions each year on face creams, nutritional supplements, and even plastic surgery in the quest for eternal youth. But the most effective technique to keep your body young may be vigorous exercise.

Researchers from Germany first noticed that mice trained to run on a wheel had biological changes that led to healthier cells. So the scientists decided to compare cells from professional track and field athletes to cells from healthy adults who were not physically active.

Both groups had the same chronological age, but the cells from the athletes were biologically younger. They had longer telomeres, which are protective caps on the end of DNA strands. As we age, the caps get shorter and leave the DNA vulnerable to damage.

The results suggest that regular exercise helps maintain the caps as we age. Previous research on telomere length in twins has found that exercise makes cells on average nine years younger, and the more active you are, the greater the benefit.

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Story summary

Want to keep yourself looking and feeling young? A new study suggests the best way may be through exercise. Researchers have found people who are physically active have cells that are biologically younger than those who are inactive.

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