How do you become younger with exercise
Your chronological age is defined by the number of years you have been alive. Your biological age, on the other hand, is related to the amount of wear and tear you have subjected your body to over the years. One of the factors that really affects your biological age is the way you deal with stress.
Stress is a normal physiological response to a dangerous situation. Stress hormones ensure that energy goes to target organs in your body that will help you deal with the situation such as your brain, heart and muscles. Stress puts you in a state of high alert – your heart beats faster, your blood pressure surges and your senses heighten. Whilst it helps you to stay alive, in modern life we are often put in the situation where we have to survive stress. When stress becomes chronic, as in psycho-emotional stress, the body is in distress. Psycho-emotional stress is worrying about paying the mortgage or finding the school fees or putting food on the table. Distress is a situation which is over and beyond what the body can cope with because it is too demanding of our energy resources.
Chronic stress impacts on your physical health through cellular ageing. It is your telomeres that are one way of measuring this and they become frayed with age. They are the protective ends of chromosomes which serve as packages for our DNA. As they get shorter so do the number of possible times our cells can divide and therefore our lifespan. If your telomeres become critically short then your cell cannot function and you become susceptible to chronic disease.
Being physically active is linked to having longer telomeres. This means you can actually reduce your biological age by doing some exercise. And the good news is that by doing regular moderate exercise, you can potentially mitigate the damaging effects psycho-emotional stress may have on their length.