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Most of us know that losing that excess bodyfat for good will bring us a LONG list of benefits. Lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, decreased risk of some cancers, and so on. Besides just helping us look and feel better, achieving true fitness also prevents bone loss, improves memory, eases the symptoms of menopause, and more! In short, regular exercise and bodyfat reduction will all years to our lives by minimizing so many life-threatening conditions.
Now, thanks to new research from Britain, we can actually say how many years we might gain by losing that excess weight once and for all! Researcher Tim Spector of St. Thomas’ Hospital (U.K.) is part of the team that studied 1,100+ British women between 18 and 76 years of age.
“Telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes in cells and protect them from damage. However, each time a cell divides — and as people age — these caps get shorter, so decreases in telomere length have long been associated with the aging process.
Reporting June 14 2005, in the early online edition of The Lancet, the British researchers found that telomeres of obese women…..were much shorter than those of lean women…… In contrast, lean women had much longer telomeres than moderately overweight women who, in turn, had longer telomeres than obese women.” (Source: HealthDay News)
The researchers found that obese women aged an additional 8.8 years more than lean women (based on telomere length). Wow, 8.8 years!
By the way, this study also focused on smoking and how that impacted aging in women. Perhaps surprisingly, this study found that women who do (or have) smoked aged an additional 4.6 years. What’s surprising about this finding is that obesity appears to cause more ‘aging damage’ than smoking, at least in some women.
There you have it, yet another reputable study proving that regular exercise can add years to our life (and life to our years!). The evidence is absolutely OVERWHELMING: maintaining a fit body through regular exercise will help us live longer!
Besides, we want to look good in a bathing suit this summer!