It’s In Our DNA To Be Physically Active

Ten years ago, a group of researchers posed the theory that being sedentary is physiologically abnormal and causes many chronic diseases, because we inherited our genes from physically active ancestors.  In other words, it is in our DNA to be active.  And recent research indicates that may indeed be the case. 

 

German scientists recently examined the DNA of white blood cells in sedentary and active middle-aged men and women and found that the active subjects had telomeres that were much longer than their less active peers and only about 10 percent shorter than people half their age. Telomeres are located on the ends of chromosomes and protect them from damage.  When telomeres become too short, cells can die or lose function.  As a result of these findings, one of the researchers said that “exercise has an anti-aging effect at the molecular level.”  Another study found that people 55 to 72 years of age who had high levels of cardiovascular endurance also had longer telomeres.  So being more fit does keep cells young!  Read More

 

Here’s how sedentary living is affecting us: approximately 250,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to inactivity, and there are at least 17 unhealthy conditions related to sedentary living – including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, obesity, breast and colon cancer, and heart disease.  Roughly 36% of adults in the U.S. do not get any leisure time physical activity, and at least 28% of all preventable deaths in the U.S. are due to the combination of inactivity and poor diet.

 

We inherited our genes from ancestors who were very active, and our genetic make-up has not changed.   Only our lifestyles have changed.  The average American watches 4 hours of television every day but lists a lack of time as the number one reason for not being more active.  It’s all about priorities.  And all it takes is a half hour a day of fairly brisk activity to make a difference.  It’s in your DNA to do it!

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