Okay, I don't know why the information is not appearing, so I'll try it again. I couldn't find a link, so here goes, verbatim:
Physically active people have cells that look younger on a molecular level than those of couch potatoes, according to new research.
A study of British twins found that exercise appears to slow the shriveling of the protective tips on bundles of genes inside cells, perhaps keeping frailty at bay.
"These data suggest that the act of exercising may actually protect the body against the aging process," said Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College in London who led the study, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Previous research has shown that being physically active reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases, potentially extending longevity. In the hopes of helping explain how, Dr. Spector and his colleagues examined structures known as telomeres.
Every time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. Scientists believe that aging occurs as cells reach the end of their telomeres and die--muscles weaken, skin wrinkles and thinking clouds.
Dr. Spector and his colleagues analyzed telomeres collected from 2,401 twins participating in a long-term health study. The length of the twins' telomeres was directly related the their activity levels, the researchers found.
People who did a moderate amount of exercise--about 100 minutes a week--had telomeres that on average looked like those of someone about five or six years younger than those who did the least--about 16 minutes a week. Those who did the most--about 3 hours a week--had telomeres that appeared to be about nine years younger than those who did the least.
Other researchers said the findings are intriguing.
"It's another jigsaw piece in trying to understand why exercise is important in longevity," said Stephen Coles, who studies aging at UCLA.
Original source: The Washington Post