Telomeres, METs and Exercise.
Telomeres are protective covers of human’s DNA on the ends of chromosomes, every time cells are dividing in our chromosomes and copied some of chromosomes parts are lost, telomeres are preventing such a loss of our own genetic info and keeping it at very minimal levels, but it’s a repetitive process and telomeres are shortening with aging.
Larry Tucker, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Brigham university said, “Telomeres are index of cell aging, someone who is 50 has shorter telomeres than someone who is 40. There is an extremely strong correlation between telomere length and age.” But surely it does not mean all people of age, let’s say 50, will have some length of telomere. It’s surely plenty of external factors influencing length of telomeres, exercising is among most important.
Dr. Tucker is author of study of 5,823 adults in National health and nutrition examination survey did show people who did exercise at greatest intensity aged at pace that was nine years slower than sedentary counterparts. Now the question is how much do you need to exercise?
Standard guidelines are 150 minutes per week (30 minutes per day, 5 days a week) of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity, such as running.
In dr. tucker study, those who exercised for 1,000 MET -minutes per week, had nine years advantage over sedentary people in terms of telomeres length. Also MET (metabolic equivalent) is defined as measure of exercise intensity based on oxygen consumption and 1 MET is amount of consumed oxygen per unit of body weight during 1 minute of rest.
As an example running 1 mile in 15 minutes give you 6 MET’s running same distance in 8 minutes – 11.8 MET’s. In some gyms, bikes and treadmills do have METs achieved during exercising on a display.
But again -just exercise regularly and you will live a longer and healthier life