Learning Strategies Blog

Move More to Age Less

by Pete Bissonette

Want to slow down your biological clock?

Lace up your sneakers… You may have to break a sweat.

A study published in Preventive Medicine found that highly active people have significantly longer telomeres, the protein endcaps of chromosomes, than those who are sedentary or moderately active.

Telomeres provide a clear indication of aging inside your cells. Every time a cell replicates, it loses a bit of endcap. Therefore, as you age, your endcaps get shorter.

Brigham Young University exercise science professor Larry Tucker compared activity levels and length of telomeres of 5,823 adults aged 20 to 84. His findings showed highly active people—women who exercised at least 30 minutes per day five days a week and men who exercised at least 40 minutes five days a week—had the longest telomeres. Their cellular age was, on average, nine years younger than those who were sedentary and seven years younger than those who moderately exercised.

“Just because you’re 40, doesn’t mean you’re 40 years old biologically,” said Tucker. “We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies.”

Although the exact reason why is unknown, Tucker believes the slowing of aging may be linked to lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, which decrease with exercise.

Despite your current activity level, becoming highly active may be more achievable than you realize—if you pay attention to what works and what doesn’t for you.

For example, notice instances when self-discipline flows naturally. Allow those times to teach you how to make exercise more pleasant and effective. Ask yourself these questions from our Self-Discipline Paraliminal:

* What time of day is exercise easiest for me?

* What locations and environments nourish my self-discipline to be active?

* What level of distraction strengthens my focus and practice? Is my self-discipline enhanced by silence and solitude? By a certain kind of music? Or, by a certain level of hustle and bustle around me?

* Who energizes my desire to exercise? This could be anyone you connect with in your daily life, either in person or through social media. Perhaps your self-discipline is reignited through the energy of people whose stories you have encountered. Is there a coach, mentor, or peer who could help inspire your practice?

Ask yourself, “How can I make these things part of my days more often?” Before you know it, you’ll be breaking a sweat without a second thought.

To help you develop a disciplined habit of exercising that enhances your long-term health and well-being, I recommend you listen to the Self-Discipline Paraliminal. Simply push play, close your eyes, relax, and listen. This closed-eye process activates your “whole mind” with a precise blend of music and words to help you get the most out of every minute.

To learn more about the Self-Discipline and all our other Paraliminal programs, please click here.